swan’s wake

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in patterns

oh, how the time passes! it seems like just a few weeks ago that we were preparing to release the first pattern from the  bare naked knitspot 2012 club. and here we are in the throes of summer already, letting the final one fly from the nest.

it might even be a matter of saving the best for last—a gossamer slip of a stole in golden wild muga silk.
simply to die for.

this was a very special yarn for us to offer—it is produced in a tiny area of india by a co-op of farm families who sell it for production through a program sponsored by the central silk board of india, ministry of textiles. i learned so much about silk farming and production; it was a very exciting month for me.

the yarn was custom spun for us by a family-owned mill in india which procures the muga silk fiber from farmers participating in the program.

of course we needed a LOT of help to accomplish this production, which was managed by susan dubois at treenway silks on our behalf.

between the extensive information offered on the central silk board site and the information/travel notes offered in the treenway archives, i was able to put together a wonderful chapter for the final installment of BNK 2012. it is one of my favorite ever pieces of research and writing.

and the project really shows the yarn to nice advantage i think—there is a nice mix of solid and openwork within the piece that allow the wearer to experience the silk two ways. he stitch work is easy enough that the knitter can enjoy the feel of the yarn, but interesting enough to stay focused.

included are instructions for a scarf and two stole sizes; any piece can be executed with either a tailored garter stitch edge or a pretty lace edging that is a bit fancier.

that reminds me; we also shipped an extra goody with this package of a custom designed shawl pin made by plover designs. it was so delicate and pretty—just the right weight for this floaty fabric.

this project and this yarn were a real hit with our club; they have even recently revived a KAL for swan’s wake that anyone is welcome to participate in—why don’t you grab a pattern and join us?

shown above, the petite stole with lace edging in treenway silks carmela, a heavier lace weight yarn with a bit of tooth in its natural honey-gold color.

and shown below, the scarf with garter stitch edge, also in muga silk

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.

swan’s wake is also included in the BNK 2012 eBook, collection—twelve terrific accessory patterns, each one multi-sized and suitable for gifting or keeping; 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 (it takes a few seconds to view).

another fun thing to do—click here to view the swan’s wake project pages to see more examples of these shawls knit by club members and photographed on a variety of people and in alternate yarns.

and of course, please come over to our ravelry groups to join in the fun there; we have live threads for all of these projects and more that we welcome you to take part in.

it’s greek to me

Posted on 10 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, designing, projects

i feel sheepish about how many days have gone by since i blogged, but i’m hoping that if i bring lots of flowers it will make up for that.

our lilies are blooming rather late this year (they usually start in june, around father’s day, but we didn’t see nary a one until after the fourth of july this year).

the pinks are dominant this week, though there are vivid orange day lilies, too. these were a gift, thinned from the beds of our neighbor the doctor, whose office is across our back street.

there is a row of them all along one side of our yard. we’ve had them for at least five years now and this is the first time we’ve had a whole row of blooms; i think they’ve finally matured. i LOVE this orange; wouldn’t this be a great color for socks or fingerless mitts? i think i even have yarn this color!

and yes, it really is that green in canton—we had sixteen days of rain before this weekend, which explains why. why, we are on the fourth day in a row of nice (though very humid) weather and i almost don’t know how to feel about that.

i’ve been busy busy this last week, mostly with secret projects, but i am continuing to take a few minutes each morning for a little knitting over coffee. it’s been really nice to sit out in the porch/kitchen/living area while the coffee perks, listening to the birds and putting a few rows on. i might have to keep this up once the renovation is done.

i finished my slouch potato hat (i’ll show you that in a sec), but missed having that project in my hands so i started another, this time in comfortable ecobutterfly color grown organic qoperfina cotton sport.

it’s the coolest yarn; not only is the fiber is grown in an array of colors—the hat is in deep green; above we also see deep cinnamon brown—but a tiny percentage of microscopic copper fibers are spun into the singles to help soothe and promote healing. it’s a wonderful yarn to use for babies or people who need extra TLC.

mmmm luscious. this is a gift for someone who will soon need a very soft cap, and since it’s already in a different gauge on bigger needles i’m venturing completely away from the pattern of the previous hat to make it as a simple cap (no buttoned brim), while keeping the same idea.

i think i might have to make one for me and one for david; it’s too yummy to pass up.

so yeah, i finally got my multi-colored slouch potato blocked last tuesday

now didn’t that yarn smooth out nicely? this is indigodragonfly merino/nylon sock in colorway as god is my witness i thought turkeys could fly! (if you want some email kim and she will make you some). it did not bleed or grow or become shapeless when wet; it was very easy to wash and then bring back better than new.

anyway, once it was dry i had mister blockhead model it for us

as you can see, i took everyone’s advice and went with the brown buttons, haha.
(i do take each and every contribution seriously, i do. but sometimes my evil twin intervenes and does exactly what she wants anyway—there’s nothing for it when she’s like that!)

we’ll get some nice photos on a real person soon, maybe even this afternoon, who knows. with everything going on around here, anything could happen. i still have to write up the pattern though, so it will be a short time before you see that.

knitting the hats provided me with the perfect project to try out these new needles from newhouse needles—a spin-off company (no pun intended) from newHue handspuns, one of my favorite yarnies.

a few months back, cheryl sent me these carbon fiber needles that her husband is now making. i wanted to play with them for a bit before talking about them; i had never knit with carbon fiber needles before. having several projects in the last few weeks that required using DPNs at some point, i had plenty of opportunity to put them to work with a variety of yarn types.

the carbon fiber surface takes a little getting used to

and the tips—wow! i was almost a little scairt of those points.

and truthfully, in the smaller sizes they are pretty pointy—if you like a nice sharp tip  for knitting fine lace yarn or grabbing stiff little sock stitches, these are your tools. but in the bigger sizes, i can appreciate them even more. many needle brands that i love have much more rounded tips once the sizes go past 3.5 mm or so. not these—they stay nice and pointy through the larger range. and now, the moment i’ve been waiting for has arrived—newhouse is now making circulars!! i am totally buying some right now.

while i was blocking my slouch potato cap, i decided to go ahead and block the first jazz strings sock as well, beasue the pattern is ready and the test knitters are nearly done; it’s almost time for the release. if we’re going to take photos sometime soon, i want the sock to look its best.

this fabric changes so dramatically when it’s had a good soak and a wash. residual spinning oil on the fiber makes it a little dull, but keeps the surface smooth for easy knitting. gower, once the stitches are all in place, it’s very nice to get that oil washed out so the fiber can bloom and sparkle

see what i mean? all aglow. and the fabric in the leg smoothed out so beautifully too; if you ahve any doubts about this yarn while its on the needles, you’ll be rewarded when you wash it.

left is the washed swatch and right is the unwashed. this will happen in your project fabric too, yay.

so socks are on the way; as soon as this month’s club chapter is done (later today) i can get moving again on non-club design work (release sock pattern, write hat pattern, get back to work on sea pearl sweater).

like i said earlier, we’ve had FOUR days in a row of nice weather and on saturday i ran in another race, this time one that was right in my neighborhood

oh my, i never had so much fun at a racing event! first we all gathered at the start so we could get going a little later than the 9:00 start time. no matter, this was a fun run and everyone was happy to be there. we even had a prayer to get going on.

i enjoyed this race; it was run entirely on neighborhood streets, ones that i’ve walked on frequently though i don’t usually choose to run them (we have brick-lined streets in my neighborhood, not great for running).

despite the brick, i ran very well and finished 3.36 miles in 26:35. i couldn’t believe it when i heard my time was 16 minutes at the two-mile mark. i ws having fun!

this is the womens’s winner on the left; at the finish she was cheering me on and clapping; i was so tickled by that, haha. actually, there were a LOT of really nice young people at this event and i enjoyed spending time among them.

the race was part of the church’s 100th anniversary celebration. st. haralambos church has quite a history in our little city; it used to be downtown, but in the 1950s they moved the church in two pieces about 40 blocks north to our neighborhood and enlarged it to accommodate a growing congregation. it took 18 days to to move just the first half.

i had never visited the church before this race event, so it was a nice introduction for me. everyone was so pleasant and friendly; after the race was run we gathered in the gym for snacks, awards, and door prizes.

AND a bake sale from which i took home several treats. i remembered to bring my “baklava card” which was included in my race packet to redeem for my free piece of home made baklava. seriously, who would leave that home?? and so worth remembering . . . the treat was one of the best i’ve ever eaten.

while we waited for the race results, we were treated again, this time by the church’s group of greek dancers

remember those teenage runners i mentioned earlier? well several of them, along with a number of other younger church members perform with the group.

they were aMAZing!

i really REALLY enjoyed this half hour of the day; not your usual race event at all.

i thought it was cute when, about a half hour later, i sw a couple of them heading for the food table in street clothes

and once we were all happy from the dancing and sweetened up form the desserts, the prizes were announced.

i was surprised to hear i came in third for the women (no age groups in this one). to be completely fair and honest, this was a really small race probably with only three women running, haha. most everyone did the sane thing and walked. but i still earned a nice gift certificate, so i’m happy.

and i think that’s all i have for today. i hope the weather is treating you well wherever you are; i’ll be back in a couple of days with more.

oh!! one last thing . . . we’ll be finalizing our yarn and goodie orders very soon for our fall in full color club. time is running out to join—once we place the orders, the number is final and we won’t be able to accept more members. unlike the bare naked club, the fall yarn colors are exclusive to members only; we won’t be ordering extras to sell, nor will the dyers have any until next year.

if you’ve been waiting til the last minute to join, now is the time, thanks!

Chèvre, a Bare Naked Wools yarn

Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in lace/shawls, projects, yarn and dyeing

Note: Chèvre  and the Stonewall Husky kits featured below are now sold out. Thank you all for supporting another new limited-run artisan product!  We’re glad you’re just as excited as we are about the new yarn!

I know you’ve seen Anne talk about this great mohair/merino blend a few times on the blog. You’ve seen her swatch with it

and now it’s available! I introduce to you Chèvre, a worsted 60% mohair wool/40% merino artisan yarn.

Each skein yields 230 yards per 4 ounces. The color is rich in depth and variance, which Anne has named Charcoal.

And to celebrate this spectacular new Bare Naked Wools yarn, Anne has released a special edition Stonewall Husky pattern that is only available in kits here. The kit includes four skeins of Chèvre and the limited edition pattern with instructions for a scarf, two stole sizes, or a baby blanket.

This special edition pattern is great for men

and women

and would be a great way to kickstart some Christmas gift knitting!

Speaking of gift knitting, you may want to add a hand written note with your special handknit. And what better way than with Knitspot Vintage Note Cards!

Aren’t these precious?! They set includes all 6 cards with images from Anne’s archive of family photos and feature garments handknit by her grandma and great aunts for their children during the 1930s. I get such a kick out of old family photos of children dressed head to toe in handknits! I must get a photo of Baby Knitspot this winter in a hat, sweater, socks, mittens and maybe even his knit leggings. What a cozy bundle of joy he’ll be!

Chèvre, the Stonewall Husky kits, and the note cards are all limited edition offerings by Knitspot. Hurry to the store! They’re going fast…


Rhinebeck After Party

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events

Last month, the Bare Naked Wools pop up store at Squam really got Anne and I excited about doing our own knitspot event. Oh! You hadn’t heard about that on ravelry? In case you haven’t, knitspot will have its FIRST event in the days after New York Sheep and Wool Festival!

Anne will teach daily workshops and Bare Naked Wools will be available in the pop up store! All the workshops are available a la carte. You can choose one or two or sign up for the whole kit and caboodle. If you just want to shop the store and hang out in the evening with knitspotters, you can do that too! Before I get all super dooper wordy excited about this event, I think I’ll just post Anne’s announcement. She said it best.

here’s an idea: how about a rhinebeck after party??

personally, i’ve always been kinda sad to head home after rhinebeck; wishing secretly that kim, beckie, and i could stay a couple of extra days to hang out, play with our yarn, and enjoy a little more of the surrounding area (think: wineries, art studios, delectable food choices). and if i feel that way, then some of you are going to feel the same, especially the west-coasters who are coming out for their first RB experience—a weekend is not enough!

we also heard that many of our dear knitspot friends would love to get together for some workshops, so an idea began to germinate—what IF we put together a groovy RB after party, with the opportunity for participants to learn some new tricks, shop in a bare naked wools pop-up store (clothing is of course optional, haha), see and taste the best that the hudson valley has to offer, and spend time getting down with our peeps—how cool would that be??

so erica has been hard at work, figuring out the logistics and we’re ready now to present you

Rhinebeck After Party, an a la carte knitspot event

October 20 – 23, 2013
Kingston Courtyard by Marriott
500 Frank Sottile Blvd
Kingston, NY 12401

you can choose a menu of workshops, plan excursions (hey, take the train to NYC for a day if you like!), hang out and socialize in the evenings, and shop our little BNWs marketplace. take a taste or sign up for the whole kit and caboodle. and feel free to simply stay on to knit and socialize; we’ve secured a great hotel rate for our gang. we’re excited to hang out with our nation; let the good times roll!

SUNDAY October 20
BNWs marketplace open to public 5 – 9 pm
general socializing in the lobby

MONDAY October 21
Yarn Voyage 9 am – 12 pm
Ever wonder why, when you achieved exact gauge, your finished object looks nothing like the original in a different yarn? Much more than a discussion about yarn weights, this explorative workshop for knitters and handspinners of all levels covers myriad yarn characteristics and their effect on knitted fabric. Participants will learn how yarn type relates to gauge, needle size, texture, and fabric integrity, and how to use that information to make better choices and/or substitutions in their projects. Students will test Bare Naked Woolsof various fibers and twist ratios to make comparisons and learn to assess final fabrics. Even the most experienced knitters and spinners will go away with new insight on the fibers and yarns they thought they knew.
Students should have intermediate knitting skills with ability to execute simple patterned motifs from written or charted instructions.
Materials: a book of stitch patterns with a few simple ones marked for possible use in class, a variety of needles, sizes 3US to 9US (3.25 mm to 5.5 mm).

$105 (includes BNWs course materials)

Afternoon Free Time of Your Choice 12 – 4 pm
explore woodstock, have lunch at the CIA, knit and socialize with knitspotters, or spend some quiet time on your own

Blocking 4 pm – 7 pm
An in-depth foray into wet and steam blocking using various blocking tools and pattern schematics; participants will do some hands on work. Focus will be on working with wool, but other fibers will be discussed. Other topics of discussion: choosing a blocking method, choosing tools, why blocking is important, blocking and fiber, effects of blocking on a finished piece.
Materials: Students will need a notepad, measuring tools and one or two small finished objects (a sweater piece, scarf, mitts, neckwarmer, swatch, etc) and pattern schematic if applicable, if they wish to participate.
Students are also encouraged to bring the materials listed below if they own them already and are driving in; this will ensure that they can block their own item and make more tools available for all members of the workshop. However, there is no need to purchase tools just for this event.

steam iron, towels (1-2 large, 2-3 hand size), pins, blocking squares or board, blocking wires (if possible), ruler, spray bottle.


BNWs marketplace open to public 7- 8:30 pm

TUESDAY October 22
Sweater Fitness 9 am – 12 pm AND 4 – 7 pm
An intermediate workshop in the important basics of sweater fit and construction. Get into your best shape EVER! Participants will complete a thorough set of body measurements and discuss how to use them to choose and use a sweater pattern in an appropriate size. Students may knit gauge swatches during the workshop. Other topics of discussion will include swatching, yarn choices, pattern reading and terminology, types and uses of shaping techniques (increasing and decreasing), tips and tricks for successful navigation through a sweater project.
Students must have a complete understanding of increasing/decreasing, have completed a project that requires shaping (sweater, mittens, etc), and have an intermediate level of knitting skill and pattern reading (understanding of intermediate knitting terminology is expected).
The emphasis of this workshop is on preparation and execution for a well-fitting sweater; seaming and finishing will not be covered.

Materials: a soft measuring tape, notepad, 50-100 yards of project yarn, sweater pattern, and a variety of needles for swatching. Students should dress in a form-fitting top (baggy clothing will not be appropriate for obtaining accurate measurements).
Note: Students must bring only knitspot sweater patterns to work with in class.


Afternoon Free Time of Your Choice 12 – 4 pm
explore woodstock, have lunch at the CIA, knit and socialize with knitspotters, or spend some quiet time on your own

BNWs marketplace open to public 7- 8:30 pm

Knit Nite 8:30 – ??
FREE for workshop participants/$15 tickets sold at the door for non-participants
Social knit with the knitspot team and friends with a grazing bar of finger foods and drinks; test your luck at a few door prizes
kimkimkim will entertain us with songs (just kidding)

WEDNESDAY October 23
Finishing: Joining and Trims 9 am – 12 pm
This workshop provides the knitter with discussion and demonstration of various tools and techniques for finishing projects with polished, professional results; focus is on finishing seamed garments.
Joining: covers myriad aspects of seaming, grafting, and finished openings, as well as planning the right methods for individual projects.
Embellishments: discusses add-ons such as buttonholes and bands, buttons, pockets, and edgings for knitted garments as well as picking up stitches.

Materials: current finishing projects or swatches (see list below), blocking tools (see list below), tapestry needles, a variety of knitting needles to practice techniques, 100 yards of practice yarn, spare project yarn if using actual project pieces in workshop, and pattern documentation/schematic for project if applicable.

Homework: students should bring a current finishing/seaming project such as sweater pieces, mitts, scarf, or neckwarmer to seam during workshop; please include pattern schematic. Please block most sweater pieces in advance; the more variety in accessory pieces, the better. If no project is ready for finishing, participants should prepare 4 swatches that are 3-4 inches square and 2 swatches that are 21 sts wide by 1 inch long, with live sts on a holder. Tapestry needles, pins, knitting needles size 4 or 5, 100 yards of fingering yarn for practice, spare project yarn.


Afternoon Free Time of Your Choice 12 – 4 pm
explore woodstock, have lunch at the CIA, knit and socialize with knitspotters, or spend some quiet time on your own

Welcome to the Chart Side 4 – 7 pm
In this workshop we explore the practical application of charted knitting patterns, how to read them, and how to use them for speed and efficiency in creating knitted fabric. Various charting systems are reviewed and practice time provided in using charts for both knitting flat fabric and pieces worked in the round.
Students must have a complete understanding of increasing and decreasing, and be able to execute k2tog, ssk, sl1 k2tog psso, without assistance. Students should have completed a small project (hat, mittens, etc) that requires shaping and employs an early intermediate level of knitting skill and pattern reading (an understanding of intermediate knitting terminology is expected).

Materials: stitch markers, 100 yards of fingering or DK yarn along with appropriately sized needles; a magnetic board and/or higlighting tape are optional but may be helpful.


BNWs marketplace open to public 7- 8:30 pm


workshops are offered on a first come, first serve basis. please do not reply to this post if you are interested in a class. you must email majordomo@knitspot.com with

–your workshop selections (along with alternate workshop choices in case your first picks are not available)
–full name, email, address, phone #

and an invoice will be sent to you. if the invoice is not paid within 24 hours, you will forfeit your space in the workshop(s) and it will be offered to the next person on the request list.

if you sign up for the whole kit and caboodle (all 5 workshops), each workshop will be discounted $5 each.

please call hotels directly to make your room reservations: 

Kingston Courtyard by Marriott
500 Frank Sottile Blvd
Kingston, NY 12401

use discount code KNITSPOT to receive the hotel room block rate of $119.99 per night plus tax. the code will not show up if you try to book online. you must to call the main #.

Hampton Inn Kingston
1307 Ulster Ave
Kingston, NY 12401

Rooms may be reserved by:
-Calling the hotel directly at 845-382-2600 and asking for the KNITSPOT GROUP (or group code KAP) rate of $129 per night plus tax.
-Booking online at www.kingston.hamptoninn.com. Note the group code KAP will be needed to access the rate.
-Calling 1-800-HAMPTON, mentioning the Hampton Inn Kingston, the date and the group code KAP.

Excited!? I sure am! I’m looking forward to processing all of your requests and seeing lots of you in New York.

NOTE: refunds cannot be made once you have paid for a spot in the workshops. however, if you need to recoup costs you may find a person to take your place. if you do so, please notify us with the person’s name and contact info in case we need to get pertinent info to them. thank you for your understanding.