anne wrote this just before lunchtime:
over the last few weeks, i was getting a little bummed that the foliage colors this year weren’t so vivid as in the recent past. they were ok, mind you, but seemed kind of dull or lackluster compared to displays in other years.
just a few days ago, i took this shot from our second floor porch and kind of marveled that there was still so much green in the treetops.
then the temperatures plummeted over the weekend and BAM!
that was friday, this was sunday—isn’t nature remarkable?? and don’t get me started on the flame bushes and japanese maples, all of which seemed to change their jackets inside out at once, like the june taylor dancers.
the sky is still the same gray, but it feels just a little more festive today than this time last week . . .
suddenly every tree has turned its most vivid color and begun to drop its skirt to its ankles; as i rode my bike to class yesterday, i noticed a perfect circle of color beneath nearly every one (just one of the many small rewards of commuting by bike or on foot!).
one of these days, a big wind will whip up and blow them about like confetti, but for right this minute, there they lay. something bright to offset the sudden shock of the darkness at 5 pm, now that the time has changed, too.
my temporary office quarters on the second floor provide the perfect perch from which to see it all—it makes spending long hours at the computer something i almost look forward to (but i’d still rather be knitting, haha).
speaking of knitting, all of this quick turnover in the season has got me thinking about (and working hard on) our holiday pattern and project lineup (i know—already!!). i’ve got a bunch of great patterns for giftable projects—big and small—all set to roll out in the weeks leading up to thanksgiving and christmas. PLUS, we have a couple of new surprises in store as well. and of course we’ll have our annual red scarf pattern promotion to raise money for our scholarship fund.
to kick things off, i’ll be participating (along with several other awesome crafting luminaries) in a daily lounge panel on crafting holiday gifts this thursday, november 7th at 4pm EST/1pm PDT.
please join us! you can go to the daily lounge blog page now and request an email reminder, or follow it on twitter, Facebook, and pinterest.
i got home over a week ago and have spent most of my time since then with my nose to the keyboard, catching up on pattern work, communications, and paperwork. not much time to squeeze in my knitting, but things began to look up over the weekend and i actually got away from my desk for a bit to knit.
of course, that was mostly on secret projects which i can’t show you, but i’ve also managed to maintain momentum on my small, public knitting projects.
i’m making a big effort in the little bit of knitting time i have each day to stay focused on one or two items so as to get some things finished. that said, i have not had the energy to focus on my sea pearl sweater yet, but i’m confident that the next week will allow me to settle down enough to turn back to that, too.
in the meantime, that little scarf has been a comforting project of just the right size to make measurable progress every time i sit down with it. its deliciously complex texture and quirky, meandering lines are irrestisible—i just want to squish it every time i look at it.
knit up in our bare naked wools breakfast blend DK, i am loving how the bakery rye color makes the most of all of that sexy depth and definition. the motif requires some attention until you get used to it (and a lace needle with a good point), but once you learn it, you can sit back and enjoy. i’m knitting on size 8 (5.0 mm) needles i think, so it’s growing pretty fast.
if i had more time or concentrated on just this project, i think i could finish it up in less than a week, maybe even a few evenings.
i’ve also been working on a sample of my hydrangea neckwarmer to prepare for the re-release of this pattern in single copy format (soon!). i cast on in our breakfast blend fingering yarn
(ok, i’ll admit it—when those boxes of yarn arrived, i was so starved for the new colors that i indulged in a bout of startitis, with the excuse of needing projects for travel knitting. sue me).
this is another that i’m finding to be not only delicious to touch and knit, but comforting as well. the motif is a fairly easy knit through the body of the piece, with an add-on edging at the hem which i plan to make optional in the re-release of the pattern. the cream n sugar shade is especially lustrous, which highlights the pretty patterning in this piece.
i’m adding a longer size to the pattern (one of the reasons we need a new sample), which at first seemed to show no visible progress no matter how often i worked on it. suddenly though, it’s taking shape, now that i have the motif memorized and have spent more than a few minutes at a time knitting on it.
i haven’t decided whether to add the leafy edge to this one or not. right now, i’m leaning toward not; i think the edging looks better on the smaller sizes. do you have an opinion?
i may knit a second; i don’t know. if only i had time to knit several, in every configuration . . .
and speaking of awesome people who knit for us
just look at what kari knit—a wheaten blanket in milk chocolate confection. swoon.
and this doesn’t even come close to how wonderful it looks and feels in person.
omg, it just occurred to me—now you really CAN cover yourself all over in chocolate (and not even pay the price in calories!).
yeah, we’ve got a blanket thing going on over here—our friends are helping out by knitting up samples of some existing patterns as well as new ones.
cherie had herself a little blanket throw down this last week on our behalf, knitting on this yummy new design, to be released as soon as david gives me some photos (hopefully tomorrow, but if not, then thursday)
that’s right—you asked for it and we are giving it to you; a blanket version of squeeze me and squish me. a darling reader wrote me when i did the comfort me post excitedly saying that she thought i had a new blanket pattern and BAM!, the idea was born and we ran with it.
one month later here it is—more and more of that incredible illusion fabric, this time in our worsted weight confection.
this is one of my all-time favorite stitch patterns for many reasons, but the optical effect probably tops the list. it’s also reversible and keeps its shape beautifully.
where most of my blanket patterns are finished with contrasting borders (some in great detail), for this one, i took the main motif all the way to the edges, in order to make a feature of its quirky corrugated depth. i love the rustic-ness this lends to the whole piece and how weightlessness it feels without any edging.
many fabrics would not be able to keep their shape or lie flat without some edging, but this one, which is constantly working in opposites to both expand and contract at the same time, does not need that help—trust me, the edges will not curl.
light and airy in 100% corriedale confection, it is the perfect fabric to get your toes toasty. in fact, the lofty yarn and corrugated stitch pattern work together to wrap you in the real warm. it’s such a perfect combination that we’ll be offering it as a kit in all four sizes (so, even if you don’t have time to knit it, you can still give it, haha).
ok, i’ll stop now since it’s not quite ready to release, but look for it in the next post!