wasp and rose

Posted on 30 CommentsPosted in patterns

Wasp Rose Knitting Pattern

once upon a time, a designer cast on for a large lace shawl project. the design she had in mind was to be quintessentially victorian—all stripes and rosebuds, with a nod to the larger natural world, in a hem ringed with wasps, their noses buried in roses.

the project got off the ground with the usual enthusiastic start, but somehow kept falling prey to life’s little detours—the yarn became discontinued, she couldn’t seem to engineer the hem she envisioned, and travel interfered with her work on it. nothing seemed to be going its way!

suddenly (or so it seemed), she realized it had been on the needles almost two years. well that just wouldn’t do, now would it? so she gathered her thoughts, finalized the pattern, and set back to work with fresh vigor.

(don’t tell kim i said this, but i love how she looks like a sassy, windblown sea captain’s wench in these photos!)

once she was back on track, it took almost no time for the piece to be done—she will never know what her hangup was to begin with. it turned out lovely; she was pleased. people started asking for the pattern. she got some new yarn support and asked a trusty test knitter to work with her on the sample.

and a second one came to life. albeit with bumps in the road of its own, but all’s well that ends well; we finally brought the project home (an barely any corrections to the pattern, a miracle!).

shown above, the petite shawl in lux from the buffalo wool company, a lustrous bison/cashmere/silk/tencel lace yarn. lux is being replaced by sexy, a lace  yarn blended from just bison and silk, which knits to the same gauge and performs very similarly.

shown below, the tall size in fibre isle kami bison, a bamboo/merino/bison lace blend in colorway rose petale. this yarn has been discontinued, but i do see it here and there in yarn shops and trading threads; you could get lucky and find some.

this pattern would also be gorgeous in treenway silks carmela, a wild muga silk lace yarn which was very popular with our barenaked club members last summer.

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


many, many thanks to ron and theresa miskin of the buffalo wool company for helping out with yarn support at the eleventh hour; we are so grateful for their contributions to this project. i’m very much looking forward to working with them more in the future. thank you!

i am so thankful to have had the opportunity to knit with fibre isle yarns and so sad that the company is no longer in business. sylvie and jacque toupin were wonderfully supportive of my work and extraordinary yarn engineers. their yarns are some of the loveliest i have ever knit with; they are missed!

many thanks to our test knitter vanessa, who churned out our sample so fast it made my head spin. it is only due to her speed and diligence that the pattern is ready today; we love you vanessa!

i am constantly amazed and grateful that so many of my friends enjoy and are willing to model for us. these lovely women share their time so we can truly experience the garments in action—aren’t we lucky? this time it was susie (in blue) and our dear kim3 (in pink). let’s have a round of applause for them . . .

ok, so how about a few more pictures?

knitspot takes day off

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in designing, lace/shawls, projects

wow, i can’t believe i’ve been home for over a week already—where did the time go?? oh yeah—i was catching up and putting this month’s club chapter together. it’s amazing how much time can pass when i’m focused on a task.

i so enjoy that feeling of being immersed in my work; it’s one of the things i miss most when i’m away. the nomadic life of travel teaching doesn’t lend itself to focused work requiring number calculations, deep thought, or creative contemplation. too much noise and bustle for that most days.

and when i get home, there is usually a backlog of issues to discuss with david, longer emails to answer, patterns to write, and decision making to take care of. if i don’t do something about all that right away, they snowball even further. that’s the time when i must put my nose to the grindstone and take care of business; it’s for the best.

i squared away a lot of paperwork and communications this week, but there were also some hands on tasks waiting for me—like the two shawls that needed blocking. i didn’t really feel i could afford the time, but it was a must if i wanted to release the new pattern on monday.

so, on wednesday morning, with a thousand other things to do, i put the two shawls on to soak. around noon i left my desk, grabbed a towel, and pulled them from the bath to set about threading wires, stretching, and pinning. i really do love this work; it was a nice respite from the rest of my week.

first i pinned out the wasp and rose sample knit by vanessa in lux from the buffalo wool co. this yarn is a bit heavier and more tightly twisted than the pink kami bison that i used for my prototype, however, the buffalo wool people are in the process of replacing it with a new yarn called sexy that is even more similar to the one i used. i’m told lux will remain available for about six more months.

as with the kami bison, the stitch definition is crisp and clean; the fabric surface is smooth as  still water. that little bit of extra weight in the lux makes the fabric hang beautifully, too.

the top edging is one of my all-time favorites—so delicate and pretty. it reminds me of the tiny tea roses we used to have in the brambles of our yard. what a difference the color makes, eh? this is  lupin, a rather denim-y blue. it gives you an idea of how the shawl translates in a stronger, darker color and something other than pink.

look for the pattern to be available tomorrow . . .

once i had wasp and rose pinned out, i set to work on my hazeline, another reknit, this time in hazel knits entice, in the color wendee dyed for our september club release

(if you are wishing you had some, take a look on her site at a colorway called portobello).

these heavier weight shawls are so easy to block—so many less stitches, for one thing. but it’s also much easier to see what i’m doing, haha.

the textures in this design are wonderfully tactile. where wasp and rose is all about the luminosity and delicate lines of a garden in high spring, hazeline is more about shapes and depth of texture—lots of garter stitch with motifs that jump off the surface.

the effect is one of nesting and cozy warmth, with influences from woodland environments.

i felt very satisfied to have gotten this task completed—such an island of calm in the midst of the mayhem at my desk.

the feeling was further expanded on wednesday evening in spinning class, when we all actually spun yarn instead of knitting, haha.

we were joined by a new participant, nan, who has been to some knitting classes with me and is now discovering a love for spinning wool. we, of course, are more than happy to enable her in this endeavor . . .

i did not want to intimidate her right off the bat by taking blog photos of her work (we’ll save that for next time, MWAH-ha-haha), so i’ll show you what i worked on.

this is my finn fiber project that i began spinning oh, over a year ago—so far back i can’t even remember. i’m working on a 3-ply yarn, so it’s taking a while, even when i do manage to fit spinning time into my week (not the norm lately).

some day, i will have a whole bunch of yarn—hopefully a sweater’s worth—that looks something like this. i’m moving through it with painful slowness, but when i do get to spin, i enjoy every minute.

i sat next to nan and kept an eye on her, but she barely needed me there; she did great. she’s definitely got a future as a spinner. watch out, helena!

it was with immense relief and pleasure that i finished my november chapter on thursday night—earlier than i expected, leaving plenty of time for anne marie to proofread it while i cleaned up a few remaining tasks. david and i sat back to watch the chapter go out at midnight on friday, which was doubly exciting because it kicked off signups for current members to subscribe to our 2013 barenaked club.

WHOA, did those emails bells ever start jingling—we were surprised and pleased to see how many clubbies had stayed up to wait for signups to open. thanks you guys!! it really made our evening AND our week. with that we headed upstairs to catch a little TV before bed and looked forward to having yesterday off. yay!

general signups will open at midnight on thanksgiving day as it turns into black friday—please check out our club website or barenaked ravelry group to ask questions or read more information.

yesterday i got up early and went to susie’s house to knit. we pushed back into recliners to talk and knit the morning and half the afternoon away, while drinking pots of coffee. omg, it was grand. i worked on swatches for a secret project and had a whole pile done by the time we put aside our needles.

we did a little modeling session with wasp and rose (see how happy susie is to be wearing it??) and then took a drive to the fruit orchard to buy apples. i didn’t get home til nearly 5 pm and all that time, i didn’t do anything that felt like work. i’m hoping to make a treat for knitting class tomorrow with some of those apples—we’ll see how today goes.

last night after dinner, i wound up those baa huey yarns from newhue handspuns that i received in the mail just before i went to rhinebeck. with all that transpired between then and now, i haven’t been home to play around with them and i was anxious to explore.

the yarn sets—available in five colors—contain gradient skeins in DK weight that are spun for specific projects—two mitts and a hat. these are spun from gradient colors that are plied with natural brown BFL. a bit of plain green yarn is included for doing colorwork or trims.

cheryl also has gradient kits in dyed color only (no natural brown); she gave me one of these in the pine green for a cowl, which i cast on last night—soooo excited to watch the colors change slowly from dark to light.

david is going to love this (as are several other recipients on my list); isn’t it gorgeous?? i’m knitting it in a very simple breadbasket pattern. i plan to do coordinating mitts and hat, using the trim color for some type of edging—maybe i-cord or simply a nice rib.

just look at how beautifully cheryl translates a color from nature into yarn—it matches the juniper topiary that stands on the porch outside my studio door. isn’t it great? these kits are very reasonable and are the perfect way to spread handspun love. they make an excellent gift for a new knitter or swap partner who will really appreciate having a trophy yarn to pair with a simple project.

i’m working on a couple of simple, quick gift knits for these kit yarns, to become available throughout the gift knitting season. but if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to wait for a new design, these skeins would match up really well with some existing patterns, such as hot waffles, matterhorn, snug cap for all sizes, slöfock, high peaks, lacunae, juerga, and so many other choices on our coordi-knits page.

just to tempt me (and you) a little further, cheryl sent an additional kit last week in plum

omg, so me.
she included this photo of her cowl kit design to share with you how prettily the colors knit up.

who taught this woman how to enable us so well?? (ooops, that might have been me)

today i am mostly back at my desk, but when i finish this post, i’m going for a run—we’ve been incredibly fortunate this month in having mostly gorgeous late fall days, full of sun, with afternoons in the mid-50s. much too good to last, so i want to take advantage while i can.

after that, i’m tucking back in at my desk to edit photos for tomorrow’s pattern release and to write up a pattern for a secret project or two.

another full day and it’s already half done—i’d better skedaddle. see you next time and til then, happy knitting.

woodstacking

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in patterns

some of you may have noticed that many of the photos used in the hasselnüsse release also captured a second cowl made up in the same DK yarn. and today we’re letting that one out of the gate, too.

woodstacking is yet another quick knit piece you can whip up at the last minute for that new boyfriend your sister decided to bring home or your beloved mail carrier. it wouldn’t even be out of the question to make several for office mates.

its deeply textured, cable and moss fabric is universally appealing and the pattern has a size for everyone—truly a piece you can make ahead and decide later who it will be perfect for.

not only that, this is an excellent stashbuster project—i bet we all have yarn for it in the house already. just about any soft DK yarn will work well—the motif is very forgiving, with great stitch definition built right in.

shown here, size medium in string theory hand-dyed yarn merino DK, a lustrous, cushy, 4-ply  DK yarn. this was our club colorway last november, a chocolate brown dusted with gold named corylus; i’m pretty sure they will be making this colorway available to everyone at some point, but for immediate purchase, the java colorway is very closely related and available now. or you can browse their full array of gorgeous colorways for another option.

check out the woodstacking project page on ravelry to see favorite examples knit by our 2011 club members., many of them are made up in alternate yarns, making it easy to imagine how your own woodstacking will look in another colorway or yarn base.

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

woodstacking is also included in the FIFC 2011 eBook, as part of the 2011 club collection—eight terrific accessory patterns with a total of ten pieces. each pattern is multi-sized and suitable for gifting; many will have universal appeal for women, men, and children alike. purchase the eBook collection from the knitspot club website or in our ravelry pattern shop.

haselnüsse

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in patterns

remember last month when i said that soon it’ll be time to get serious about that holiday gift list? well, i hate to bring it up, but i think we are there friends; time is growing short.

now is the time to get out the calendar, sharpen our pencils, and start some serious strategizing about who’s getting what from our needles this year.

what we need are those little gems—projects that take mere hours  to knit, but look like we slaved over them to get the perfect results for that special recipient. yes, we like those, don’t we?

haselnüsse falls right into that category; this adorable little neckwarmer takes just hours to knit (i swear!) and is enjoyable from start to finish. it’s practically two gifts at once—one for you in the knitting (especially when you choose a yummy yarn) and one to add to the gift box.

with three sizes to choose from, it’s almost certain to be perfect for someone on your list. not only that, but most knitters can get two of them out of a 100g skein of DK yarn—no kidding. it could even qualify as that potato chip project that you end making multiple times—maybe for friends at the office or in secret santa?

shown above, size medium in string theory hand-dyed yarn merino DK, a lustrous, cushy, 4-ply  DK yarn. this was our club colorway last november, a chocolate brown dusted with gold named corylus; i’m pretty sure they will be making this colorway available to everyone at some point, but for immediate purchase, the java colorway is very closely related and available now. or you can browse their full array of gorgeous colorways for another option.

check out the haselnüsse project page in ravelry to view wonderful examples knit by our 2011 club members, making it easy to imagine how your own haselnüsse set will look in another colorway or yarn base.

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

haselnüsse is also included in the FIFC 2011 eBook, as part of the 2011 club collection—eight terrific accessory patterns with a total of ten pieces. each pattern is multi-sized and suitable for gifting; many will have universal appeal for women, men, and children alike. purchase the eBook collection from the knitspot club website or in our ravelry pattern shop.

kudos to our friends at string theory hand dyed yarn for cooking up the perfect chocolate-and-gold colorway for november 2011. and many thanks to our friends susie and ellie, our lovely models who were subjected to working on location at our best local chocolatiere, bittersweet’s, in stow, OH. those poor girls had to taste one chocolate after another in the name of knitspot, cluck, cluck . . .

we are very grateful for the generosity of our hosts, chocolatiere todd horvath and partner/manager, gwyneddh jones for giving over the shop to us one veining last november for a photo shoot and subsequent chocolate tasting (todd is nothing if not passionate about his work). and oh, they make cake, too; if you live anywhere nearby, their place is worth the detour.