Posted on 17 CommentsPosted in patterns

this handsome, slouching stocking cap is a real winner—soft, warm, and comfortable, it’s the perfect knit for that single skein of nice DK you’ve been wanting to showcase.

it starts out with a fun to work herrignbone rib pattern at the brim which provides a snug fit and tailored style—the pattern is a real feature when knit in a smooth yarn with a bit of sheen, like the shalimar breathless DK we used for this sample in colorway sequoia.

the cashmere and silk content go  long way to creating the perfect soft drape that makes the back part plop just so into place. the merino helps the hat keep its shape, wearing after wearing.

the hat is so light and elegant, comfortable enough to wear indoors or out. mister knitspot swore he did not need another hat when i offered it to him, but has been wearing one all weekend, since being asked to model it.
hehehe . . .

this is my prototype in colorway dirty jeans; it varies from the results you’ll see using the final pattern as written, but still shows off the yarn color well, so i’m including photos of it here.

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.

i had so much fun knitting these hats up and i hope you do too. but beware of leaving them lying about—you might find they are very easy to “lose”.

many thanks to kristi at shalimar yarns for her generous yarn support and to lara and barb, who are always eager to test knit a fun hat; thank you both so much!

barb sent me these photos this morning of her strömming hat, which she test knit in our new (and soon to be available) breakfast blend DK in colorway cocoa, a rich brown.

grandson brogan is reportedly very happy with it—barb says he wore it all weekend, even indoors. a good indication of how comfortable this yarn is.

and we always appreciate the view on a new, cute model, don’t we? he was a very good sport about it, too; thank you brogan!

barb says that now all the kids want one of these . . . that’s how we roll here, creating knitwear addicts at, well, the drop of a hat.


on the move

Posted on 11 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, designing, projects

on thursday, with a holiday weekend in front of us, david and i piled into the car and headed to albany to visit with my mom for a few days before my next travel dates begin. we didn’t get to spend time with her over the christmas holidays, so we had some catching up to do.

i drove for the first half of the day, so i didn’t get started on my knitting til we hit buffalo, but once i got in the passenger seat, i pulled out my squeeze me hat and got going on that. i had just cast on and done the first row before leaving home, but this piece goes fast.

i’m knitting with our new breakfast blend merino/alpaca DK; the more i knit with this yarn, the more i love it. sometimes when i knit with alpaca, my fingers start to burn a little after too long, but so far, i’m not experiencing that with this yarn. the quality of the alpaca used is very high; it’s been quite thoroughly de-haired. a good measure of merino in the blend probably acts as a buffer as well, though i don’t know if that can be proven.

my hat knit up very quickly; by the time we passed through syracuse, i was almost to the point where i needed to start decreasing (and that included about half an hour of napping time, haha). the pattern continues through the decrease section, getting incrementally smaller with each reduction. soon though, the light was too dim to work and i had to put aside my knitting for the last hour or so of the trip.

the yarn knits into a delicious, light, cohesive fabric that feels warm, but not too hot and is incredibly comfortable to wear. i often find alpaca a bit prickly against my bare skin, but i can wear this around my head and neck.

you might be wondering why, if i have sensitivities to this fiber, would i choose to produce a yarn with alpaca? well, first of all, i feel like my sensitivities are very mild. but also, i guess it’s a bit like buying super-chic shoes that are not all the comfortable or good for my feet—sometimes the qualities i admire about a fiber win out over what seems sensible. and when it comes to alpaca, there are many admirable qualities i cannot give up permanently—lush hand, an array of beautiful natural colors, gorgeous sheen and drape.

i have just a little bit to go on this hat; the pattern should be ready by the time we’re ready to list the yarn in our online store. erica is knitting up a squeeze me cowl to go with it; we just need to get the pieces together for a photo shoot.

on friday, we drove with my mom up north to visit a mill we are working with and pick up a couple of  sample yarn batches they spun for us.

we love this kind of outing; we got the full tour, got to see all the machinery at work, and talked to the people who make things go—the only contributors we didn’t see up close were the sheep, haha.

but we certainly saw the results of their labors—these are tests for a blend we’re developing to offer in the near future (not a club yarn). we’ll tell more about it as things develop, but the test samples are promising; there is one that i’m quite smitten with.

this mill is in one of my favorite parts of upstate new york—which is saying a lot, because NYS has so many hidden treasures once you venture to the upstate and central regions. of course, i may be biased because i grew up there . . .

after that we headed back toward home, stopping for lunch on the way at a place that had yummy sandwiches, soups, cakes and pie. i wish i had thought to take a photo of the chocolate cake we all split for dessert—it had strawberry buttercream frosting, mmm.

yesterday we got up early to take advantage of what looked to be a beatiful day dawning. over breakfast we lamented the demise of both our batches of pink impatiens, though my mom’s african violets looks a good as ever.

i just love this one with the pink and green variegated leaves. haha, when my mom first saw it a couple of years ago, she thought something was wrong with it. as for the impatiens, she has established a backup plan by giving cuttings to several neighbors, who so far, are successful with rooting them. we are all hoping they make it; our cousins down south also lost theirs, so everything hinges on the last surviving batch.

later, i went for a nice long run while my mom went to church; the temperature was pretty brisk, but the sun shone and i warmed up quickly. i like the roads near my mom’s house because the busy service roads lead away into the pine bush, where they soon turn into the narrow winding farm roads i remember from when the area was much less developed. we don’t have this kind of terrain where we live in ohio and i enjoy running or biking these lanes when i visit.

in the afternoon, we met up with my sister’s family at an indoor soccer facility, where arjun plays on saturdays. he’s the kid in the dark uniform right at the center of the photo (it’s hard to see them in such a vast space).

i really did watch the game  . . . but anika and i are multi-taskers; she played her game and i knitted. i don’t think arjun really noticed.

i resuscitated an ancient WIP to put in my purse for travel knitting—a pair of fine cabled mitts i started back in like 2006 with a ball of quiviut i purchased as a splurge. somehow—and i really don’t know how this happened—i set it aside and then completely forgot about it. i unearthed it recently while rooting through the credenza in my study, in a cabinet i don’t open very often.

the fine cabled mitts are one of my favorite patterns and i don’t have a pair. i know i intended to make these for myself to fill that gap, but somehow it never happened. i have to say, it’s not the easiest yarn to knit with—it’s a very dark color and quite fuzzy in a way that makes it snaggy. plus i have the project on these old bamboo needles, which have a lot of drag. they will be transferred to a smoother, more preferred set as soon as i get home. and if i keep them in my purse, they’ll eventually get done.

they made for just the right kind of knitting to get through a soccer game.

afterward, we all went to dinner at karavalli, a favorite indian restaurant that cooks specialties from the region where the arjun and anika were born. YUM!

today we’re going to visit with cousins and hopefully go out to the movies after dinner. in the morning, we’ll head for home to begin another work week. the day is warmer, but VERY windy; i’d like to get outside for another run or walk as long as the rain holds off.

hope you are having an equally relaxing and fun MLK weekend; enjoy your monday off!


Vintage Knitspot – Juerga

Posted on 234 CommentsPosted in projects

Over the holidays my parents got me, along with Matt, hooked on Downton Abbey. We had never watched an episode and in days we finished Season 1. Holy cow were we missing a lot of fun! Then came the tears because Season 2 wasn’t on Netflix. My parents had all ready watched it, but Matt and I were sunk. ah…but then I found Season 2 on Amazon Prime. We got all caught up in time for Season 3 to start on PBS. Before Season 3 Episode 1 aired in the States, my parents were lucky enough to score tickets to watch it in the theater!

They said it was amazing and they wished they could watch every episode that way. The event was sold out and mom said it was a blast to have a room full of people laugh at the funny parts and gasp at the shocking parts together. I bet.

I am in love with the every bit of the show – the drama, the time period, the English accents, the clothes, the food, the table settings… I could go on.

For Christmas my mom bought us skeins of Lorna’s Laces Sportmate in colorway Christmas at Downton. Could it get any better? I labored until last night about what pattern I wanted to knit. I wanted a small accessory. I wanted a simple yet sophisticated stitch pattern that would look gorgeous in variegated yarn. I decided on Juerga.

This pattern is just adorable! It knits up very fast in sport or DK yarn. Don’t believe me? Look closely.

The mitts don’t have thumbs! They’re just cuffs. Is this not a fun pattern? Couldn’t you see cranking out tons of Juergas as gifts?

The largest size only takes 215 yards for the set. Such an economical gift. I know LOTS of loved ones that would pass out if they got this set. Yep, call the paramedics. I predict a good bump on the head after suddenly finding themselves horizontal from this beautiful handknit.

Christmas at Downton is a gorgeous colorway. I only have four rows of the neckwarmer done, but I know it’s going to be beautiful!

It’s the perfect combination of all my favorite colors. My plan is to keep watching episodes over and over this weekend until the new one airs Sunday night. The anticipation kills me, but I get a kick out of hearing the dialogue of past episodes as I knit. I am always surprised how I missed a funny line the first time around. Plus, I never get any knitting done during a premier episode. I plan on it, but when the credits roll on the screen I realize I’ve just been holding my knitting the whole time. I guess this is why I usually knit to old Law & Order episodes or my fave movie Rear Window.

I’m curious…do any of you watch TV series as you knit? Or movies? Or listen to audio books? Tell me all about it in a blog comment by 11 pm EST on Jan 21. One of you commenters will win a $10 gift certificate to the knitspot pattern shop.


Posted on 12 CommentsPosted in patterns

it’s hard to believe that our 2012 fall in full color club is coming to a close this month, but even harder to believe that a whole year has passed since we revealed this lovely club project to knit with the handspun lace yarn that was last year’s january shipment. wow, this year went fast!

our january shipment is all about following up on the christmas gift-knitting rush with a totally indulgent, selfish knitting project—something only a knitter would truly appreciate.

by that i mean a project that is almost more fun and better appreciated in the knitting, though certainly beautiful and luxurious to wear. also sure to attract the number and type of compliments that light up a knitter’s smile (i.e., “you know, that scarf makes you look a lot like kate middleton” or “you are simply glowing in that color!”).

a precious trophy skein of heavier laceweight yarn goes a long way here—just 400 yards needed to make a nice-sized petite shawl on 4.0 mm needles. look how pretty it is in handspun—the stitch patterns makes perfect use of its variations in color. the shape is flattering and conforms nicely to the shoulders; it’s easy to wear as a shawlette or gathered up into a scarf.

the shape variation here makes for fun times in knitting—something different is always welcome once that last stocking cap or mitten is off the needles.

shown here, petite in new hue handspuns bam huey lace yarn, colorway crystal, our january club colorway last year. it’s not listed there at the moment, but snowflake would be a great substitution and i’m pretty sure cheryl plans to release crystal as well.

of course snow squalls and ice crystals were the furthest things from our minds during the photo shoot at our incredible beach location. our awesome club moderator kim adds her personal stylin’ touch to the day; it was spectacular and our club members loved the whole thing.

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.

squall 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.

i was so pleased and amazed at the number of clubbies who cast on right away and completed this project quickly—it was such a treat to watch everyone enjoy their handspun club yarn. you never really know what you are going to get with our clubs until those packages arrive, but you can be sure that we try to find yarns that will make for memorable adventures.

check out the squall project page on ravelry to see examples knit by our 2011 club members; some of them are made up in alternate yarns, so you can imagine how your own squall might look in another colorway or yarn base.

we are heading to albany on thursday to visit my mom. i’ll be posting again sometime over the weekend; i know i am overdue for a knitting update. i’m hoping to have plenty of knitting time over the following days to start a new secret project and also play around with our breakfast blend yarn—we need to get some samples knit up. we’re also going to try to shoot some photos while up north and on monday, i’ll be posting the newest pattern release, strömming, for you to enjoy as we make our way home.

i didn’t say this was a vacation or a break, did i??

while we’re away, erica will keep everyone on edge trying to get sneak peeks at our new bare naked wools, while kim and kat will hold court in our rockin’ ravelry clubhouses (right now, members are madly running back and forth between our FIFC clubhouse and our BNK clubhouse—too fun!)