the parade continues . . .

Posted on 37 CommentsPosted in designing, projects, yarn and dyeing

actually, before we continue the yarn parade, a quick announcement—knitty surprise is up and my pattern for these cute fallberry mitts is one of the mid-issue bonus pieces (along with ann weaver’s fab oranje sweater—i WANT one, i WANT one!).

the delish pathway sport yarn in colorway roast carrots was generously contributed for this project by susan at slackford studio. susan’s got plenty in stock in this and some other enviable colors, too (there’s also a promotional code you can snag from the ad at the top of the knitty pattern page to get a 10% discount in susan’s shop). she was also kind enough to send extra yarn for a matching hat and scarf, which i’ll add to the pattern for its fall release in our own pattern shop.

we’ll just wait a sec til you check that out . . .
please also be sure to take a gander at david’s new fallberry mitts film, posted on the knitspot youTube channel.

so now . . . where were we? ah yes, YARN.
the other day, i showed you everything i brought home from TNNA, so today i’ll take you on a tour of what i brought home from my UK and upstate NY trips, and hopefully we’ll also dive into the boxes that were waiting here when i got home.

i showed you this once before, but it bears repeating—i received a terrific gift bag of yarn from buffalo gold, with a selection of items representing nearly every fiber blend they sell. really beautiful stuff, mmm.

well, first thing after alighting from the plane on wednesday morning, we were whisked off to alice’s house, where yarn was hung to dry in every corner of the socktopus studio, before going into goodie bags for retreat participants.

the weekend colorway is man of rock in sokkusu o for original, alices’s new tight twist merino sock. pictured below as well in a colorway i should know, but can’t remember, because there is no label attached. i just know it’s NOT tree frog.

on friday, we headed down to the retreat in cornwall, arriving in the late afternoon, just in time for drinks in the bar. there we sat with retreat participants, including a few yarnies who joined us for the weekend.

—yarnies with yarn in tow as a treat for the teachers. above, old maiden aunt alpaca/silk/cashmere fingering yarn, dyed by lilith (whose studio we visited in a previous post) in the irresistible pumpkin pie colorway.

sam, from yummy yarn studio came all the way from calgary in canada to attend and brought lovely yarn gifts for cookie, alice, and me. my package included a skein of merino/nylon superwash sock in colorway lego of my eggo, along with some heavenly alpaca/silk/cashmere lace in a gentle peach shade. mmmm

after the retreat, we headed back to london to repack and pick up david for our trip to scotland. as you know, we had a lovely visit in leeds on the way, where we browsed many local and micro-producers represented at baa ram ewe. i was careful to remember my limited suitcase space and didn’t buy, but regretted that later. then again, we’ll be back in the summer for knit nation and the selection could possibly be even better then.

in west kilbride we had an excellent adventure, visiting lilith’s studio and shop, where we dyed colorways of our own making. now that i’m home, i can take much better photos of my resulting yarns, dyed in deep, dark plum and navy over black.

the one on the left above is a chunky weight shetland wool and the one on the right is DK british blue-faced leicester (BFL). i am SO knitting myself a hat and mitts with these yarns to remember that day . . . isn’t the color amazing?

cookie’s yarns were equally compelling, in gray over yellow and black over red (i can’t find the photos though . . . sorry).

at loop london, the dizzying array of lovely wools and accessories almost caused a mental shutdown, when my eyes alighted on something completely different in a column of cubbies in the upstairs room.

i knew it was special the minute i laid eyes on it and immediately sent strong mind waves across the room to cookie that said “you MUST come look at this”. it’s the yummiest yarn i’ve seen in such a long time—a DK blend of british merino, angora, and cashmere, dyed on the northern tip of the isle of skye by an expat american, using natural dyestuffs.

otherwise known as shilasdair.
even the labels are original and unique to each colorway and dye blend.

my resistance broke and i fell upon this combination of hearty-wheaty gold and delicate cornsilk gold. a hap shawl in this would be incredible, wouldn’t it?
i’m kicking myself that i didn’t buy enough for a sweater, but once again . . summer is coming (and i will leave MUCH more room for yarn in my suitcase this time). i did buy two other colors to gift to friends; one deep lilac and the other a greeny-gold. cookie bought enough of a purply-maroon color for a sweater and some deep forest green/blue for a wrap she started on the spot.

i missed seeing the fingering weight downstairs, but alice found it and purchased a beautiful shade of cochineal red.

and that was about it for yarns i brought home from the UK—i was very strict, telling myself i could write about anything i wanted and link to it all from the blog—i didn’t need to buy and carry it to be of help in spreading the word.

then we got back to NY state. again,i was very, very good at restraining my own purchases, but we did receive some generous gifts

karin, from periwinkle sheep brought us each a big bag of yarn, which i had to mail home from albany. when it arrives, i’ll show you what’s in it. i was also gifted a beautiful red skein of yarn in class, from locally raised sheep that i’m excited to share and see again.

i came home to a big stack of boxes, filled with new colors and yarn blends from our favorite stateside yarnies. it was a little overwhelming at first, seeing that stack of yarn—it’s the same amount that arrives in any typical month, but seeing it all at once gave me pause. but soon, curiosity got the better of me and i had to look. so i started with the smaller packets first.

jared and i had been emailing about his beautiful new shelter yarn since the week it came out, but i hadn’t yet taken him up on his offer to send a skein for a tryout. DUH.

after shamefacedly getting back in touch with him about that, i was certainly looking forward to feeling and knitting this targhee/columbia yarn blend for myself. i asked him to pick out a color for me, since any one of the 17 options was attractive.

and he picked the perfect thing—a charcoal gray named soot (i love gray). the yarn is amazing, as promised. deep, complex color, with little bits of this and that to spice it and a soft, delicious hand—not to sound terrible, but it is much, MUCH softer than i expected form its rustic appearance. much.

i’d knit a sweater with this yarn in a heartbeat, yum.
for now though, i’ll be content to knit something that uses just the one skein—a cozy hat or mitts; something i’ll use a lot.
(and since i finished up my mink/cashmere scarf last night, i think it would be ok to cast on now)

from kollage yarns—riveting—a new offering in fingering weight cotton, made from recycled blue jeans. this skein is just one of their denim colorways, dusk denim. pretty, right?

once the small packets were opened, i was ready to tackle the bigger boxes. first up from briar rose fibers was a batch of fourth of july, intended for knitting a sample of the boy’s whitfield shorties i made at christmas.

how gorgeous is that??
wow, chris never ceases to amaze me with her colors; this striking green/blue/gray combination is different for her and i love it. just look at the light coming through that green and turquoise . . . wow.

and she is now restocked with country road, handpainted on the chunky merino laramie yarn base from mountain meadows wool.

you know—this is the one i used for david’s cabled toque; big brother to the yarn i used for my own sprout green version (pattern coming soon). talk about a great yarn—get thee some and see for yourself; i am drained of adjectives to describe it properly. let’s just say it’s good. REALLY good.

the site is also restocked with nate’s sock yarn, the baby of the squishy yummy wyoming merino family. you could knit socks with this, but really, it makes even MORE excellent mitts and neckwarmers, because of its dense, next to the skin softness. it’s favorite weight for accessory pieces, not too thin and not at all heavy.

chris is so good to me—can’t you just feel the yarn love through the screen?

the next box was from our friend kim at the woolen rabbit. this is a batch of her new grace DK yarn in scottish heather, intended for a sample knit

the yarn isn’t listed on her site yet, but it will be soon. i plan to use it to knit the production sample of david’s 2011 christmas sweater (much as we all love the handspun version, we need to show it in a yarn that anyone can buy)

he’s wearing it today, in fact; it looks so good on him.
after christmas, i sat down and made some swatches using the samples kim sent me; i hit a gauge i like on the first swatch—plus, i love the way the yarn colors play out in the pattern, nice and tweedy.

haha, but i won’t be knitting another one in his size—i actually like it so much that i’ll be knitting this one for me and writing the pattern for unisex sizing (i hope).

the remaining box was sent to me by my other good buddy, jen, from spirit trail fiberworks.

in it was a sweater’s worth of her lyra alpaca/merino/silk yarn blend, in a colorway she’s calling toadstool—isn’t it lush?? wowie and i need a brown sweater, too . . .

digging a little deeper, i was surprised to find a batch of birte DK as well—jen is too nice to me!

another rich, brown/plum colorway called fig, mmmm (me like figs). this is the same fiber blend which i enjoyed knitting so much into bel air, but in a heavier weight yarn. something a little more substantial for a dressy fall/winter cardigan, maybe . . . hmmm. it would certainly go with almost everything in my closet.

at the bottom of the box were two braids of jen’s targhee top, dyed in colorway caledonian pines. breathtaking, really. as if that wasn’t enough, jen is having a big sale right now—40% of of many discontinued or less-than-perfect batches of fiber and yarn.

that’s it—i’m gonna need to take a year off to catch up with these dyers. next time, i have a couple or three books to tell you about and we’ll get the news on knitting progress (i finished my mink scarf and the inky dinky sweater)

tomorrow is another busy day; hopefully my last day of being behind on desk and paperwork. then i can get going on patterns, yay. see you on the other side . . .

and of course, there was yarn . . .

Posted on 37 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, projects, yarn and dyeing

i know the tales of my trip focused mostly on the incredible scenery, but traveling through the UK and the eastern USA was not without its yarny attractions. we saw so much awesome fiber—some that we didn’t buy and wished later we had (but we’re going back for knit nation in july; we can shop then, right??).

anyway . . . as good as i was about remembering my limited packing space,
i still came home with i still sent david home with lots of yarn. and when i got back, a prodigious stack of yarn boxes from stateside yarnies had arrived during the four weeks i was gone (wow, was it really that long?? it totally flew by).

remember this? well, i finally tackled the other day. with relish, even—i knew it would be packed with all manner of wooly goodness. and now i have it all photographed so i can share it with you.

but first, maybe some sustenance?

have i mentioned how very happy i am to be home, eating familiar foods?
eggs fixed with greens from the garden are my favorite lunch; the greens from the freezer are quite nearly as good as fresh-picked—and WAY better than fresh store-bought ones, any time the time of year (but soon, very soon, we shall have new ones growing outside the back door—this weekend, i’m ordering seeds for spring planting, YAY).

nathalie and i had a funny conversation about how we like our eggs cooked, following a lecture from john about how they should be cooked. we can’t help it, we like our eggs well-done . . . with a browned bottom if possible. how gauche are we? for the record nat, david and i are in constant disagreement about this, too. but if that’s the extent of our disagreements, i think we’re doing ok in life, haha.

more sustenance for yarn gazing—phoebe sent me a lovely birthday package with yarn and goodies, including these black cherry licorice hearts, complete with a great story on the back of the package—quite different and yummy.

ahem . . back to the yarns—i know you’re anxious to see the parade.

let’s look at the yarn phoebe sent first—it’s super-special and i’m so touched by her gift i could cry . . .

this is phoebe’s handspun singles in spunky eclectic wensleydale, colorway electric cold front. isn’t it lovely? and there’s enough here to make a nice accessory piece; i’ll have to dream up something special for it. thank you phoebe; it’s a treasure . . .

we have a lotta yarn to look at; in fact, this could very well turn into two separate posts—one from the pre-trip period and one post-trip wrap up. so you might want loosen some clothing and get very comfortable.
just sayin’ . . .

one thing i realized when i was putting together this post is that i never really showed you the yarns i looked at and sampled during TNNA in january—because i was saving all this for a special announcement moment.

the show floor was pretty quiet throughout the weekend and exhibitors were keenly interested in the designers roaming the aisles—yarn was pressed on us from every direction, in fact, and vendors were much more open to discussion about collaborative efforts.

which was good, because we are in the midst of planning a new venture—a fall projects club with signups to open in late spring. so i was, i part, shopping the show to get ideas and information about yarns i might include in the club kits.

i KNOW! it’s exciting, right??

ok, before you rush ahead and click the comment button, you could help us immensely by participating in the poll we prepared for this very moment—see, we’re terribly excited about the club idea, but feeling very inexperienced, so we’d like to take the temperature of the crowd and get some idea of numbers. so please, help us out by taking the survey below

thanks so much; getting a grip on what kind of numbers we might be looking at is incredibly helpful to our planning and is sure to be reflected in a quality club experience.

what i’m thinking about is how much fun we have every year during the rampup to the holidays—i make sure to have a bevy of small project patterns prepared to release in the pattern shop and we all go crazy playing with yarns and churning out knits for gifting. so i though it would be fun to turn some of that energy into a club, where participants could share the love, form KALs, support each other in the race to the finish, and most of all, have an assurance of acquiring the same sample yarns i’ve used for my own projects. we would still offer holiday project patterns in the shop, but this would be a pre-packaged assortment of special deliveries for those who enjoy that format. the final shipment would be a special one, arriving after the holidays with a knitting treat to keep for oneself.

with all that in mind, i’ll be preparing designs for six quick, fun, delicious accessory projects in yummy artisan yarns, great for gifting or keeping. we plan to make it as VAT-friendly as possible, so that overseas participation is not limited. projects would span a variety of yarn weights and fabric types. patterns and/or yarn will be exclusive for a limited period of time.

OK, NOW we can look at yarn, hahaha. keep in mind that the following are simply some of the possibilities for club yarns, not in any way a definitive list. i still haven’t finalized anything, but i’m getting there . . .

TNNA was full of tempting options, many of them from artisinal producers who are now able to supply in wholesale quantities.

pico accuardi dyeworks was showing a wide variety of luxurious fiber blends in naturally dyed nearly-solid and variegated colorways. they have one of the softest kid mohair/silk blend yarns i’ve ever touched.

two of my most favorite fiberistas, karen and valerie from mountain meadow wool, showed that their young enterprise is growing with a booth decked out in a plentiful array of dyed and undyed yarns from their mill in wyoming. they have several new offerings, including a merino/bison blend (far left, above) that is squishy heaven.

alisha goes around made a huge impression at the january trade show with her wide selection of yarn bases and colorways—shops were quite challenged to narrow down their choices with so much to choose form here. as you can see, alisha’s colorways are wonderfully vibrant and she has gone to some lengths to acquire bases that are off the beaten track. she loaded us down with sample skeins, but i think my favorite is that one at the top, glint of goldfish lace.

the fibre company continues to produce yarns i fall in love with and this savannah, a wool/cotton/linen/soy blend, is a winner, i think. it’s got a rugged, rustic look but a wonderfully soft hand and will make a cushy something or other that could appeal to a guy or a woman—what’s not to love?? (kate and courtney also wrote a book recently, which i’ll talk about in another post; it’s lovely)

beth at lorna’s laces handed me this delicious skein of pearl bamboo/silk in an aMAZing new deep purple colorway called kerfuffle. i just know you purple fans are already googling where to buy it . . .

what a show, right?
i have a lot of work to do in order to get the choices narrowed down and correctly matched with projects. david and his posse of helpers will be figuring out the most efficient way to do signups and fulfillment (it takes a village). but we’re all excited and that’s the first step to success.

i have WAY more yarn to show you, but i think i’ll save it for tomorrow—and i promise this time, i won’t get sidetracked with the business of clubbing or anything like that. it’ll be all yarn, the whole way through.

what i do have to show you today is knitting progress—wanna see?

have i mentioned just how much i love this new mink/cashmere scarf? i mean, i liked this deep forest green yarn when it arrived, but i was still drooling over the apple green that i used for the first draft of the scarf and i’m afraid i did not give the darker color its due. however, now that i’ve got some luxurious length going on and had a chance to bond with this one, it’s my new favorite too. it’s just sooo elegant, isn’t it??.

i removed the cast on from the starting end so i could graft it later into an infinity scarf. cookie and i decided that i should definitely offer that option in the pattern and now i’ll have one of each. and the pattern is coming, i promise. i did not get any pattern work done on my trip but now that i’m home, it’s moving along. it’s worth the wait though; i wore my apple green scarf and hat every day and they kept me snuggly warm in some pretty damp cold.

one thing i finished on the road was my own cabled toque (just like david’s, only green). today i unearthed it from my suitcase and put it on to soak in the sink. i was worried that it seemed tight on me, but it’s drying now and it appears to have relaxed out enough to be a great fit after all. this is knit in the mountain meadow wool i mentioned earlier. jackson is their new DK weight, a super-squishy elastic merino 2-ply yarn from the wyoming, in colorway sprout (i LOVE it), part of the artisan dyed series.

i’m also almost done with my inky dinky jacket—i’ve been working on it while i watch TV with david at night. i was a bit chagrined last night to find i had to rip back about sixteen rows because i didn’t process the instructions properly—THE INSTRUCTIONS I WROTE, ahem—i read them well enough, but then did the wrong thing anyway, haha (oh, how i do amuse myself). fortunately, the rows are short and i recovered quickly. but i would have been well into the collar now if i had done it right in the first place.

the big news is really about david’s knitting

look how beautiful it is—he’s really going to town with it now. he’s got some clever learning aids he’s using, too. the other night he needed me to fix a dropped stitch and he video-taped my instructions and demo on his iPhone. a little while later, i saw him using it as a guide to fix a stitch on his own. i like that in a knitter, don’t you??

you know, lots of learners say that they do better when someone shows them what to do, but rarely does a student make a record to help increase their autonomy from the teacher. but it’s a good tactic, because working independently makes one more resourceful and more likely to retain what is learned. it also provides an opportunity to experience pride in one’s work strategies, which is crucial positive reinforcement for long-term success.

isn’t the surface of the fabric lovely? it’s a very lightweight, airy piece, despite its rustic appearance.

david is now able to knit while watching TV and in public places—that is, he’s able to knit amid larger distractions. i have a funny david story about that though . . . .

we were on the phone after he got home and i asked if he had knit during his trip. he said no, because he had dropped some stitches and discovered a hole after an inch or two of knitting further; he would need me to fix them. when i asked how he dropped the stitches, he said, “while i was waiting for my flight at heathrow, i was interrupted suddenly and a bunch of stitches fell off the needle; i couldn’t get them put back on the right way, so i just kept going.”

i asked what startled him so that he actually dropped stitches, he paused for a sec, then said dryly, “someone who had never seen a man knitting before”

you have to imagine the quiet, matter-of-fact way that david talks; he’s not a very emotional speaker. yet, i could practically hear the eye roll in his voice. i nearly busted a gut laughing. it turned out though, that this woman was a knitter herself and had actually lived very close to our town in ohio at one time . . . “a very pleasant conversation ensued—she was interesting, actually”.

he cracks me up.

ok, i’m going to stop this post here so that i have some daylight hours left to get outside and take a walk or a bike ride. the rest of the yarn is forthcoming—look for it tomorrow or sunday and have a great weekend.

where the heart is

Posted on 35 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, designing, lace/shawls, projects, yarn and dyeing

happy belated valentine’s day—i would have said it yesterday if i was awake, haha.
i returned home in the afternoon, fell into bed, slept for about ten hours straight, and woke up only in time to watch late-night TV with david—is that wrong or what?

but boy is it good to be here; doesn’t bret’s house look charming, all decked out for the holiday? he doesn’t always do things up for valentine’s but i’m glad he did this year, since it marked my return home to our corner of the neighborhood.

before i get going on what’s new, how about a few last highlights from the end of our UK and NY trip? on our last day in london, david and i got up early and hit the street, to scout for a lunch of fish and chips.

alice’s husband recommended fish! at borough market and it was delicious indeed. stuffed to the gills afterward (no pun intended), we decided to walk along the thames to our next destination—the tate modern.

past the tall ships docked near the market

through the warren of streets near the old jailhouse

along the promenade past the globe theatre

views of the water and sky and the beautiful light

real londoners, scurrying to lunch and back again under the walking bridge

and the walking bridge itself, which leads to the tate—SO cool. i wish we had walked across it, but we came in from the other direction instead . . .

the tate modern has a gorgeous installation of white birches flanking each side of its front courtyard; i love these trees, they remind me of where i grew up. we spent the whole afternoon inside, looking at the permanent collections—my thirst for viewing modern art was satisfied by the end of the day, at least for a while.

further signs of spring greeted us at nearly every turn on our way back to the underground. we headed next to look for a few last-minute gifts for friends, then home to alice’s.

cookie treated us all to a lovely dinner at chutney mary for our last evening in london. the next morning the three of us were off for the states again; david headed home, while cookie and i were bound for NYC to pick up a car and drive upstate toward our last teaching gig in albany.

but first a couple of stops to visit friends in the hudson valley, try to get organized, and recharge our batteries.

at melanie’s, new bulbs were showing signs of life all over the house and some were even in bloom (oooh, looks like those have been augmented with some love tokens from a secret admirer of hers!)

we stayed one night on the way upstate and one on the way back—these gorgeous hyacinths were in full flower when we returned on sunday night; the room we slept in smelled heavenly, mmm.

during our first day there, we caught up on email and other work tasks in the morning. i took photos of all the knitting i’d done near the end of our UK visit and on the plane back to NYC

my second scarf in great northern yarns mink/cashmere (colorway deep forest) is nearly finished now—i decided to make this one into an infinity scarf so i could wind it in luscious rings around my neck and head. the pattern will have instructions for both the straight scarf and the infinity ring (and maybe a cowl; why not?).

plus the hat of course—i wore that every day of my trip, it was the most valuable accessory i packed.

then there is the shawlette i’ve been working on in the mink/milk/merino fingering yarn in a rich, cozy maroon color. i’m all the way through the top part now, ready to start the lace section for the bottom.

i need to chart it out thought, which i haven’t been able to focus on, so it’s been patiently waiting for the next step

this matching rectangle scarf is its sibling—this zig-zag lace will encircle the bottom part of the shawlette. here i’m working with the yak/mink/merino/soy blend in charcoal gray

and last but not least, i’ve started another inky dinky sweater set—now that the pattern is available, i thought it would be fun to revisit this project to get ready for baby gift giving in the spring (i know a few expecting families i’ll want to make things for)

this project made for very good plane knitting during the last week—i knit both sleeves and got the jacket started during my flight from london to newark (along with a nap or two, hee-hee!)

then, during the trip from new york back to ohio yesterday, i knit almost all the way to the underarm, while my seat mate decided her daughter should learn to knit (haha!).

i thought i might get a blog post doen with all that photography under my belt, but no chance that day

. . . all work and no play makes jane a dull girl, so in the afternoon, we made time for a walk through town. and no, cookie is NOT getting shorter—those snowbanks were really quite high.

the river in town was roiling and that was before the snow started to melt for real.
despite the cold, we took a good long walk that day, hoping to shake off the jet lag that seemed to be clogging up our brains.

at the end of main street, we found hudson beach glass, a fascinating shop/studio combo, where four glass artists work and sell their wares (and those of other artists, too)

as soon as we stepped inside, we knew we found a transitional refuge for our state of mind—the smell of the wood furnace and the beautiful colors of glassware sucked us right in.

i thought, “alice was is SO right about retail therapy . . .”
after we each bought something, we had a new spring in our step and clear heads for the rest of the weekend—is it possible we’re really that shallow??

by then it was late afternoon and time to head further up the river to hyde park, where we were staying with our friends the fischers for a few days. we were to start off our visit with dinner at CIA’s catarina ristorante.

nathalie took the next day off from work to stay in with us and knit—i think we all benefited from her mini-vacation, haha. the three of us took over the sofa and armchair for most of the day, shifting only minimally for several hours.

we did get up to look at the turkey john spotted in the yard . . .
and in the afternoon, nathalie and i went for a long walk in the cold, which was quite invigorating. afterward, we cleaned ourselves up and got ready for dinner, which john was cooking (he’s a wonderful chef). we helped out a little by preparing condiments for the pesole.

we also had birthday cake for me! nathalie was so thoughtful to prepare something special and boy was it good. it’s my favorite—yellow cake with chocolate frosting—the cake is made with olive oil from this recipe; SO good. all of us decided we would make it again.

tummies full, we ambled back to the lounge to knit some more, while john did some spinning. nathalie is working on several projects, but i think we all like this one best

her beautiful leaving cardigan, knit up in woolen rabbit oasis (now back in stock; woo-HOO!). nathalie was smart and quick enough to snag her yarn the morning the pattern was published and managed to get enough of the oak moss colorway to start her sweater right away. doesn’t it look great? she’s just one sleeve and a few seams away from wearing it, too, yay.

before long, we three tired knitters climbed the stairs to bed, leaving john to happily spin away. wait a sec—wasn’t it HE who worked all day, then cooked all evening? why are we the ones who are tired?

the next day we met at CIA for a last delicious lunch before driving to albany. this time we ate in the apple pie bakery cafe, which i had never tried. let me tell you though, the food is at least as good as in the fine dining restaurants.

cookie had an excellent dish of short ribs and potato sticks, while nathalie had the portobello burger and couscous.

i had some aMAZing baked macaroni and cheese with a beet and citrus salad.
we also bough a few more than our share of dessert items—which are SO unfairly displayed at the counter where food is to be ordered.

there you are, hungry for lunch, trying to decide from the written menu and all those goodies are laid out before your eyes—what’s a person to do?
luckily, we had a visit with my mom planned, so a few things were reserved for her.

after lunch, we got the back door tour of the school, which i never tire of—i always see something different with each one. and of course, cookie had never been behind the scenes, so it was all new to her.

young chefs were everywhere, hurrying this way and that to meet their afternoon deadlines. this being the first day of a new rotation at the school, there is a feeling in the air of being a half-step behind most of the time (but that soon passes).

after all, it’s their peers they have to answer to if the food isn’t ready on time . . .

we sadly said goodbye to nathalie outside; we really hated to leave that day, but more adventures awaited us further up the road. i think cookie really enjoyed this leg of the trip; i’m not sure she was expecting upstate new york to be so beautiful or so welcoming. thank you melanie, nathalie, and john; i hope we can get together again VERY soon.

our next stop was albany and the trumpet hill yarn shop, where we were to be treated to an evening of socializing with customers and participants of the weekend workshops.

robena, owner of trumpet hill, always makes an event come alive with beautiful food, drink, and enthusiastic knitters. she sure knows how to fill a room—the place was packed and hopping that friday night.

karin, the dyer behind the periwinkle sheep label, treated each of us to a bag of yarn, which is winging its way here as we speak—i’ll be sure to feature it in a post next week, after it arrives.

johnny and lacey of the new stitch a day site (my new favorite interactive knitting resource!!) were in the house as well

johnny is a sock virgin, but vows to change when confronted by cookie.

aaron was a little put out that HE wasn’t the guy in the spotlight, but he managed to acquit himself nicely with actual sock cred to show for himself.

and our dear friend hattie made an appearance too with baby olivia, just a month old—how sweet is that?? i know all the knitspot ravelers will be thrilled to catch a glimpse of the healthy and happy (and sleepy!) baby.

the rest of the weekend was similarly buoyant—classes were full and fun; i think everyone went away feeling they learned a lot (including us, which is always the best feeling). we got to visit with my mom a couple of times; she made us a delicious shrimp pasta dinner on saturday (thanks mom!).

now i’m home with plenty on my to-do list ot take care of—all those patterns i didn’t write during my trip, all that mail that continued to arrive, all that bookkeeping—i better stop listing things or i’ll get discouraged.

i’m glad to be here though—home really is where the heart is. tonight we are having a home-cooked meal made with food from the garden and i plan to enjoy every morsel of it.

LOVe shawlette

Posted on 34 CommentsPosted in patterns

when my friend erica at kollage yarns sent me this creamy yarn to play with, i knew immediately that i wanted to surprise her with a wedding gift knit from it. i had a lily of the valley motif earmarked in my book of stitch patterns, which knit up perfectly in this yarn and and my hopes for a beautiful bridal gift were confirmed.

in celebration of all things loverly, we’re releasing the pattern just in time for a valentine treat. i’m so happy for my friend; getting married is the start of a wonderful life adventure and i wish her and her husband matt all the best on their journey.

shown here: the petite shawl, in kollage yarns creamy, a milk/cotton blend in colorway natural.

to purchase pattern or view complete pattern information, please click here to visit the product page in the knitspot pattern shop.

this is the second or third time i have knit a project in kollage creamy and each experience has been a complete pleasure. kollage has a wide selection of unique fiber blends and colors, which they enthusiastically offer to support the work of independent designers. please take a moment to tour the kollage website and take a look at their luscious yarn offerings.

many, MANY thanks to my friends vanessa and nan for their beautiful test knitting and helpful feedback on this pattern. i say it every time, but really what would we do without them?

and last but certainly not least, my admiration and gratitude to my beautiful friend kim and my talented husband david for bringing in this incredible photo shoot—they make a GREAT team, don’t they?