ready or not, here it comes

Posted on 15 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, designing, food and garden, projects


we have been scurrying like crazy to get ready for today and tomorrow, how about you? the last of the deliveries were dropped on our doorstep yesterday, including this wonderfully fragrant box of lemons and oranges from our friends kim, kade, and sam—thanks you guys!! there was a little purple box included which i placed under the tree to open tomorrow morning; i love surprises, even if the boys want to open each gift yesterday, haha.


thank you, thank you to everyone who has sent cards, gifts, and emails over the last week to celebrate the holidays with us! it warms our souls to know that you include us in your own celebrations. we have been taking a few days off (more or less) to spend time with the boys here, but please know that we appreciate every loving gesture extended to us and will be sending our thank you notes after christmas day.


we have been spending a lot of time in our new home space—the kitchen/dining area is fast becoming the center of our activities, with its large and spacious table.


the boys alternate between crazy, running-around-and-yelling activities and quiet concentrated sessions of drawing and games (the quiet time is mostly supervised by uncle david, who has that stuff mastered).


we’ve been cooking up some great dinners, too since i’m staying away from my desk and the computer a bit more than usual. we had a big pot of lentils and spinach one night, a batch of ratatouille, pasta with broccoli, and yesterday, black bean chili and rice.


amad has been very interested and helpful in the kitchen , which i really appreciate.


preparation for our feast of fishes is underway; we were going to do it tonight as tradition dictates, but then we had a change of plans and ate out at our favorite indian restaurant with beckie and mark instead. we will do the feast tomorrow (which solves the problem of what to have for christmas dinner, haha)


i’ve continued to knit on small items throughout, whenever i have a few moments. i finished my second bocce hat and blocked it, then began work on the matching fingerless mitts.


i think it’s cute! i made lots of extra springerle samples or our december club photo shoot, some of which are destined for the boys’ stockings. i’ve also got one of these for each of them, to go with. i’m excited for them to see their gifts! it’s not a lot, but their big present was a trip to ohio, which i think they are enjoying quite thoroughly. these little stocking stuffers are just for fun, but also because the weather is turning colder again by the hour (oh, holy cow! i just checked and it only eighteen degrees—colder than i even thought).


the bay leaf and lime shawlette is off the blocking wires and i got a few snapshots on the dress form today so i could give you a better idea of what it looks like—whaddaya think?


trust me, it’s luscious in person. this size is knit with a single skein of our kit yarn, in the exclusive lime rickey colorway. the kit will include a tall size as well for those who want to double dip, which will probably be about five inches longer.


the pattern needs to be proofread, now that i have all the details finalized and we need to get some nice photos (i’m thinking one of the twins would look spectacular in this). i’m hoping this kit can be ready by new year’s.

i have another secret holiday surprise, too—something i haven’t talked about at ALL, which karolyn and chris have helped me create. it’s another kit we’ve put together which is now all done and ready to go, save for photos (maybe the other twin?).

do you wanna peek? (do i really need to ask??). ok, here you go, just a little one; i’ll save the rest for the reveal.


now, time to start celebrating and cooking in earnest!


i hope each of you has the happiest of holidays, whatever that means in your neck of the woods.

peace on earth.

the holidays have landed

Posted on 24 CommentsPosted in designing, lace/shawls, projects


preparations for christmas kicked into full gear around here in the middle of last week—once the club packages and chapter went out, david and i got to work on the house to make it seem a little homier for the season. we went hunting for furniture, rearranged some of the rooms back to their normal state, and got a little further along in settling into our new rooms.


i got a holiday manicure along with my haircut; something a bit different with just a sliver of glitter.

by thursday night we were as ready as we were going to be and david drove to cleveland to pick up a very important package—there wasn’t room in the car for me and the cargo, so i stayed home to knit and wait.


and ta-daa—i finished up my bay leaf and lime shawlette. it would sit for several days until i had time to block it but i finally got to do that last night.


i love it—the contrast of the embossed leaves and stripey hem, the incredibly soft and luxurious yarn hollow superior yarn, highlighted by this gorgeous (and exclusive) lime rickey color—yummO. pattern is just about ready to send off for proofreading and once we get photos, the kits will go live. i’m thinking that since the color is named for a drink, a new year’s eve release would be perfect, don’t you think?

these photos don’t really do it justice, taken as they were under artificial light (seriously, it is dark nearly all day right now, what with the rain, gray, and the solstice to boot). i can’t wait to get really good modeling shots.

anyway . . . back to our precious delivery on thursday night


our las vegas family has arrived, yay! time for the holidays to begin in earnest. the first order of business on friday morning was to bundle the boys into parkas and unleash them into the snow-filled yard before the rain came to erase all the fun.


they spent a good couple of hours out there, throwing snow at each other and making a snowman from aha remained on the ground. i’m glad they had that chance; after weeks of bitter cold and several healthy snowfalls, it has grown unseasonably warm just in time for their visit. mister snowman wasn’t around for long, but he brought lots of joy while he lasted for two boys that never get to play in snow. hopefully we’ll have another snowfall during their visit.


meanwhile, they are having a blast exploring the house with all its nooks and crannies. just having stairs inside is unusual for them, haha. micah is wearing the original whitfield shorty, which is named for him, actually; though he has outgrown his own, he can wear this one which was knit for amad. it’s a little big this year, but it will fit just right next year, i bet (this photo was not at all posed; uncle david’s binoculars are his new obsession).

we’ve been keeping pretty busy since they got here; the boys are discovering the neighborhood a bit, enthralled by the squirrels, the house decorations, the playground, and the library. beckie and i brought nan to our yoga studio on saturday and we’ll go back several times while she’s here.

AND amad asked me to teach hime to knit, so that’s going to be a huge amount of fun.


in addition to finishing the shawl, i’ve been working away on small projects, like the hat and mitts to coordinate with the baci fundraiser scarf. the other day, i finished the larger cap in studio june springy sport, color here comes trouble. i’m gonna name this set bocce, because the motif reminds me of the patterns on bocce balls (one of my favorite games).


amad couldn’t resist trying it on—it would be a bit big on him but his hair fills it beautifully. i love how it folds so softly around his head; i wish i had hair like that to hold my hats in place!


and i’ve started the fingerless mitts to match. i just adore this yarn base—so springy and dense, it has a really great hand. the red cap is a good size for most people, but too big for me (no surprise there), so i used the one skein of midnight teal i kept here to knit another, smaller one.


i finished it last night; again, the photo does not do justice to the rich, gorgeous color, which appears more true to life in the photos of the cowl i showed last week. i am really sorry about the photos today; it’s just been terribly dark for one thing and for another, the only time i have to take photos and write is in the evening—not great for taking pictures.


the second cap is soaking as we speak, in fact; i should actually take a break right now to get it out of the bath and let it start drying. in this weather, it’s going to take some time.



today’s big adventure was to go hunting for the perfect christmas tree. we used to always have a real tree when we lived in NYC, but since moving here we’ve had an artificial tree inherited from my mom. that one bit the dust two years ago and last year we went away so we didn’t have a tree here. since we have friends who live on an old christmas tree farm and a lovely new sitting room in which to enjoy one, we decided to go back to having a real tree.

as i said earlier, it rained almost constantly since the boys arrived, but then midway through this morning, it started clearing up. i went for  along run while everyone else had breakfast and took a walk or slept in.


by early afternoon, the sun was shyly making its presence felt, as sting winds pushed masses of big gray clouds aside. once it seemed safe to head out on an expedition, we piled into the car and made our way to debby and robin’s place.


this is the same farm where we did the photo shoot for our december club chapter, only last week, it was really cold and covered in a blanket of fresh snow.

the farm has beautiful alleyways that run between tall pines, as well as several stands planted with row after row of pines.


of course the boys wanted one of these really big ones, but maybe another year—we had something more modest in mind, about my height to fit in a particular spot. i told them it could be a little taller than me, but not more than that.


amad found perfect candidate and held aside the lower branches while david cut the trunk.


nan and i made ourselves useful by taking photos, haha; micah “helped” by running in circles around the tree, getting his feet extra muddy to decorate the car.


and carrying his own tree.


robin took the tree back toward the house on his four-wheeler and the kids ran after; we walked back more slowly, enjoying the woods and picking up pine cones for the table.


once we got the car loaded, we took a few minutes to visit the chickens. robin told the kids to take a couple of eggs and while amad didn’t want to stick his arm in the roost, micah thought nothing of it, haha


his reward being a pretty blue egg in the fridge which he’ll eat for breakfast.

between a short nights’ sleep and my long morning run, i was kind of beat when we got home, so i went up to snatch forty winks while the guys spent some “man time” getting the tree set up.


they did a splendid job and when i woke up, they were lined up on the couch admiring their work. we ate dinner in the glow of the lights; i love the smell filing the house!

we’ve been cooking up a storm every day in the new kitchen; hopefully david will be ready soon with a nice post about our new space so you can see it, too.

we’ll be back soon with an update—we’re making our traditional christmas eve feast of seven fishes and i know we’ll want to share it with you.

red scarf dollars at work

Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events

good news! we are a little more than halfway to our goal of equaling last year’s scholarship amount of $3500.00.


baci scarf patterns  and baci scarf/cowl kits are flying out the door; many of you reading this have already participated—thank you from the bottom of my heart! i hope you will tell a friend, mention the event on your blog or your favorite ravelry discussion groups, or start an impromptu  KAL at your weekly knitting group—this event doesn’t end on the 25th, but goes all the way to december 31; there is still time! if each one of you told one other person or group, i think we’d get there.


and to inspire a great finish, someone special wants you to know how much she appreciates your participation in making our red scarf scholarship a reality. that’s brandy on the left below, who is the recipient of our 2012 scholarship. many of you have been following her notes from western washington university throughout the semester, where she is enrolled in the curatorial studies program. throughout the fall semester, she  has compiled a photo essay to take you on a walking tour of the campus and some of her favorite places nearby.


this is me with my best friend Emily from when I went home over Thanksgiving!

These are center pieces of art work in the main square of the schools courtyard.

These three photos are things I thought were rather pretty looking just walking around Bellingham.


This is the view from my apartment window on the day it began to snow, sadly it didn’t stick or come around again.

These three statues are just a few of many in a local art garden that my roommate showed me the first week I moved.

here are a few of the neat looking Volkswagens from this car show I went to with a friend.

These were my two favorite pieces in an art gallery show we went to for my Art History class. The Exhibit was called Vanishing Ice, The black and white photograph was my favorite because of the description that accompanied it; it told how inside the cave it looked blue and green and was all lit up it just gave me a great color visual that went with the black and white photograph. I like the other watercolor picture because of the simplicity of it and the colors in it.

These are pictures I took walking around my school, the tree is across the street from where I catch my bus, and the other is a view from the Viking Union where I sit and study sometimes.

This first picture is of the waterfront called Teddy Bear Cove, and the second is at Boulevard Park at sunset with the sailboats that are moored there.

This first one is in a park down by the waterfront near Teddy Bear Cove, the second is of one of the waterfalls at Watcom Park.


These are all of my schoolbooks from this quarter’s classes, except for my online book.


This is the apple and pineapple pie I made to do to a dinner party at a friend’s house.


My roommate brought a kitty to be our houseguest. He’s so silly, he’s afraid of almost everything that makes noise or is red in color.

isn’t it great to see how well brandy is making out at school? i especially like the passage about visiting the art gallery. i’m hoping that when i go to seattle for vogue knitting live!, i will have a chance to get together with her to do some catching up in person; maybe we can even visit a museum together.


the knitspot red scarf scholarship, funded each year by december sales of a specially designated scarf pattern, is our contribution to foster care 2 success, an organization that helps students aging out of the foster care system to navigate a continuing education and advancement into independent adulthood. they provide guidance and counseling, classes in life skills, scholarships, and other types of support that a family would normally provide.


the baci scarf pattern includes this gorgeous infinity scarf/cowl as well—it’s a great way to support a good cause and to queue up a terrific gift accessory; you still have time to knit one before the holiday.


this year we have added a fundraiser scarf kit as well, with the hope of raising a little more and get us faster to our goal amount. this makes a great gift for another knitter or one to add to your own list—order now and we’ll get it out the door tomorrow!

Last Minute Christmas Surprise

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in projects


Can you believe it!? Less than a week until Christmas! Where has the time gone? If you’re panicking, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Browse the shop, place an order over $75 by 11:59 pm EST and we’ll get it out the door! You can have your Knitspot and Bare Naked Wools goodies wrapped and under the tree by December 25th.

If you’re like me, you are hurriedly knitting those last few rows on something and casting on a quick pair of mitts or hat. I’ve been looking to the archives for lots of last minute ideas, so I thought I would give you a top ten list for inspiration.


Matterhorn Hat, Mitts, or Scarf – this is a great fitting hat and because of its folded brim it makes a great gift. The wearer can adjust the fit moving the brim around. All of these would be a quick knit! If you want a natural look, you could use Confection, our worsted weight corriedale.


Hoegaarden – economical pattern purchase, as there are pieces for the entire family. A trio of mitts, headband, and cowl, it’s nice texture and cables has a unisex appealing and it knits up quickly in a DK/light worsted. Gorgeous in a hand paint, but also lovely in a natural like Stone Soup DK above. Kit available here.


Cornrows Mittens/Hat – knit in a dense worsted, it knits quick and the textured cable stitch wards off the cold. Available in three sizes, along with its unisex appeal, make it a great gift for kids and adults. This would also be gorgeous in Confection, with its great stitch definition for cables.

BK stocking cap

Stocking Cap for all Sizes – this just screams ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas! It’s a super quick knit with 18 sizes to choose from. Great stash buster as it’s suitable for any DK-to-chunky weight yarn.  Suitable for handpsun as an extra special gift, or go natural with Stone Soup DK, Breakfast Blend DK, Kent DK or Confection!


Moth Kisses – delicate, special gift for that person in your life that would love a feminine layer at the end of their coat sleeve. Super easy knit in at most 150 yards of leftover laceweight and it would be stunning in the rich Chestnut color of Mrs. Lincoln’s Lace. You’ll find even more inspiring knits in the Little Nothings category in the shop here, that often require little yarn and little time.


Tabata Headband – quick knit in a small amount of DK and makes a very special gift knit up in a luxury yarn. The pattern ranges in size from toddler to adult, so you could whip these up for the entire family. With mitts to match, you would be the best gift giver in town. This would be a soft, lush knit in Breakfast Blend DK!


Squeeze Me – a cowl/infinity with endless possibilities, because the memorizable knit-purl pattern is easily adjustable. Even though it’s written for DK/light worsted, it can be done in different weights. I knit the infinity in Breakfast Blend DK and now I’m knitting it with fingering on a smaller needle, but you could easily do some quick tweaks and knit it up in bulky as well.

high peaks confection

High Peaks Mittens and Hat – beautiful texture and a knit that will fly off the needles in a heavy worsted. The whole set could easily be done by the 25th, especially with three sizes to choose from. This sample is done in Confection, and as most of you know it’s my new favorite BNWs yarn. So squishy! Kit available here.


Slöfock Mitts – I have made the hat twice and I adore the pattern so much I’m onto the mitts. And I’m seeing a lot of them pop up on twitter and Instagram too! It’s a quick knit with great texture that everyone will love. Mitts are always a great knit. I find people that have never worn gloves without fingers, really embrace wearing them once gifted with a handknit pair. They’re great for people who work in chilly places, even an office! Kit available in Breakfast Blend DK here.


Baci – this is a superior gift for so many reasons! The purchase of the pattern goes directly to the Knitspot Scholarship Fund. Buy one for yourself and gift a friend one with a note about where the proceeds were donated. Give them this link and they can read all about it. Knit this for a loved one (yes, there’s still time to whip out a cowl) and attach a tag explaining the scholarship fund. Buy a Baci BNWs kit, a portion of the proceeds are donated, and stick the kit under the tree. Who wouldn’t smile with a luscious natural kit under the tree, knowing a portion of sales went to a good cause!

Get any knitspot knits whipped up by Christmas, share them in the Knitspot ravelry group and you might win a Knitspot gift certificate! If you don’t want to participate in the KAL, there are great pattern inspirations from fellow Knitspotters. Check out the thread here. In case you missed it, there is more inspiration in our newsletter that went out this morning. You can read it here.

If all your gift giving is done for the year, how about treating yourself? Now’s the time to grab a sweater or blanket kit (with your shipping charges on us) and cast on over vacation. To entice you…we just added Bloch Ness to the limited edition kit department!


Get your sweater’s worth of Kent DK here or browse our entire kit collection here. Or fill your shopping cart with the Bare Naked Wools and pattern of your choice to create your own kit!

Happy shopping, casting on, knitting, baking and enjoying the holiday season!