op art

Posted on 17 CommentsPosted in patterns


i’m pretty confident in saying that spring is here for sure now—even though it snowed all day on tuesday, the rest of the days this week have been wonderfully sunny, if not consistent in temperature.


yes, it’s that time of year when we just can’t predict what the weather will bring, though we want to be outside as much as possible. anything from a sleeveless shell to a heavy knit wrap might be right, depending on the time of day.


and that’s why this versatile textured loop is destined to become your next best friend—versatility. just like the art genre it’s named for, this piece shape shifts to fill whatever role you need it to at whatever time.


my personal favorite is the medium size, which does triple duty as a hefty cowl, a torso warmer, or—best of all—a fanny band over leggings. how cute is that??

(and it sure redefines the prospect getting into a cold car in the morning, eh?)

you can even start out the day wearing it on one level and scoot it up or down to work elsewhere.


sarah and barb are all over this thing as a torso layer to wear under a shirt or over a transparent T or two.

and that’s another thing—knit it longer or shorter, heavier or lighter weight as you wish. the pattern is just a jumping off place, really. we’ve got finished bands in two yarn weights here—DK and worsted—but i’m knitting the largest size in a heavy fingering yarn and i think it’s going to be fab for doubling up.


(ps: this is about the best photo i’ve been able to get of this deep pink, which is spirit trail sunna in colorway va va voom!).

this is also a good detail shot of the texture—you can see that the pattern changes scale between the hem and the body area, similar to the optical effects found in certain vasarely paintings, like vega. to enhance this change in scale, the piece actually does increase in size around the middle section, creating a sort of “spare tire” that contributes to its beautiful drape.


and soon we’ll have arm warmers to match, with little spare tires of their own down the forearm; won’t that be adorable?

but if you prefer something more traditional, the band also coordinates awfully well with the lacunae fingerless mitts and hat.


shown above, the band in size S, knit up in spirit trail verdande, a bouncy, worsted weight merino/cashmere/silk blend. the color is wild blueberry and it’s simply stunning in person, with deep tones highlighted by subtle bright blue shimmers.

shown below, the same blue band paired with a fanny band in size M, knit in spirit trail birte merino/cashmere/silk DK, colorway va va voom!


helena looks so cute in both pieces! she and sarah really love this idea of using the knitted band as an extra layer over leggings or jeggings, either for warmth or more coverage or to give the impression of wearing a skirt.


sarah is wearing one in size M knit from bare naked wools breakfast blend DK in bakery rye. the shaping in the piece works a treat for hips or torso—a bit more room throughout the center with smaller upper and lower hems keeps it in place just so.

when knit in a fairly springy yarn, the stretchy motif has great body with the ability to expand and contract over and over without losing its shape; it’s the perfect combination.


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


many, many thanks to everyone who made this design happen! our great friend jen at spirit trail fiberworks is always such a treat to work with, ready to climb on board for whatever design adventure i dream up (thank you jen!). she understood right away about using all the different weights of her house blend yarns to play around with the scale of the texture in these pieces. i can’t wait til the matching arm warmers are ready to show off; we’ll be putting some of her sunna to use in those.


and thank you to all of the beautiful models we were fortunate to have involved in the photos shoot—karen, helena, brooke, and sarah—your patience and generosity of time are truly appreciated; you make us look SOoo good!

and thank all of YOU too, for the well-wishies on my run last sunday! sorry it has taken me all week to update you, but well, it was a helluva week around here; lots of SNAFUs to deal with.

anyway, with so many people keeping me in their thoughts, i managed to pull out a third place in my class.


(is this trophy hilarious or what?? i love it).

mister knitspot was on hand to take pictures and cheer me on from start


to finish. that guy in green above, right? i ran just behind him the whole way, haha; i kept my pace by making up chants about our “green team”. (ok, i know that solidly classifies me as a dork, but i don’t care; it got me through 13.1 miles of running).


though the day was hot and very windy (thus slowing all the runners down a bit), i place MUCH higher than i ever have before overall. very surprising; it will be interesting to see if i can keep that up all season.

i think good finish deserves flowers, don’t you?


and we just happen to have some! the hyacinths are all in bloom in an absolute riot of scent.

happy holidays to all, whatever it is you’re celebrating. we’ll be back on sunday perhaps with a  catchup post and then monday, we will release the kiltie kits that we said we would release last week (sorry about that; see above excise)


doesn’t this just say it all . . .


Posted on 13 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, food and garden


just a quick drive-by to say—look, we finally have flowers opening in our garden! only a few and very reluctantly, but i’m hoping this warm, sunny weekend will prompt more of them to come to life.

that said, there is snow predicted for later this week; it’s going to go from 78 degrees today to 39 tomorrow afternoon. oh joy. and what was i thinking anyway, that spring would really come?

ok, here’s the low-down; i am home, but up against a really tight deadline. i’ve been working like mad on only one thing since i got back the other day. i’m hoping to be over the hump by tomorrow, but i’m also running one of my big races today, yay!

david and i are heading out in just a bit for the town where the event will be held; i’ll report back later when it’s done. and i promise i’ll show you some knitting, too, haha

wish me luck!



Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, projects

photo 2 web

Last week Susan, Barb and Sarah packed themselves into an SUV stuffed full of wooly goodness destined for a Chicago pop up store. Sarah can attest it was one cozy ride amongst Bare Naked Wools, patterns, kits, and swag!

IMG_1565 web

They all took turns driving and snapping pics from the passenger seat,

IMG_4906 web

photo 1 web

while the backseater could get a few rows of knitting done.

photo 3 web

I love all the photos they text me during their journey! Before they knew it, they arrived in the city

photo 4 web

The girls worked very hard on Saturday setting up a gorgeous booth for YarnCon.

setup CollageThey really wanted customers to be wowed when they arrived on Saturday morning.

YC girls

Boy, were they! The booth had a steady line for hours and people couldn’t stop chatting about the lovely presentation of natural fibers!

photo 6 web

Everyone loved seeing the yarn in person,

photo 4-4 web

yarn Collage web

photo 3-6 web

browsing the samples

photo 2-2 web

photo 1-7 web

photo 3-1 web

and gobbling up accessory and sweater quantities worth of yarn.

photo 1-2 web

The girls had so much fun meeting fellow Knitspotters and ravelers for the first time and sharing the show floor with past Fall in Full Color club dyers Yarn Hollow and Fleur de Fiber. What a small world full of nice surprises!

photo 5-8 web

Wondering what was popular in Chicago? Wheaten (both the blanket and scarf version; kits here)

photo 3-4 web

topped the list along with hats Apples in Clover, Scotty, Squish Me and Polartorte.

photo 5-2 web

See that empty bin? By Saturday afternoon, Susan sold out of Stone Soup DK in Marble! And before the show ended they depleted their stock of Mrs. Lincoln’s Lace! Bloch Ness sweater kits in Kent DK were also a hit. Could it be because Barb was wearing one, while knitting between customers under the Bloch Ness sign? It probably didn’t hurt.

photo 1-4 web

Other hot sellers were the special offerings just for YarnCon…

photo 1-1 web

Danger Cowl kits (available in various sizes/yarns here and pattern here)

photo 3-3 web

and EXCLUSIVE Moving Mud Buttons! Yes, special special handmade glass buttons by Sarina! We are so excited to offer these as they’re such a lovely compliment to Knitspot designs and work so beautifully with our natural palette of yarns. We love to offer a few new things at shows before we put them in the online shop. And the response was overwhelming on our new exclusive!

Watch the blog on Monday because Anne will be releasing Kiltie Cowl and Mitts (a former Fall In Full Color club pattern)


and there will be BNWs kits available, plus you can get your hands on a set of the new buttons. Here’s a sneak peek from the photo shoot today…

KiltieShoot web

KiltieShoot web2

I’m so glad I had the last minute opportunity to grab my mom and Padraig and head to YarnCon.

photo 1-9 web

We made a short weekend of it so she could shop BNWs lovelies in person and we visited some friends on the way home. I love a yarn-related road trip!

Wondering where the girls are headed next? Follow them to Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival May 17 and 18! Plus you could attend workshops with Anne Hanson! She’s teaching Sweater Fitness and Beginning Lace Knitting. Info here.

If you can’t make it to upcoming shows, keep your eye on our social sites (Twitter, Ravelry, Facebook, Instagram). You never know where we may POP UP!


Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in patterns


it’s hard to believe that just a little over a year ago we introduced the second addition to our family of bare naked wools—our stone soup fingering yarn, which we shipped as the march club selection to our 2013 bare naked knitspot members, in the original pumice shade.


stone soup has been so popular that we now sell it in two weights and four—soon to become six—shades; fans of this handsome, well-performing blend just can’t get enough (including me, haha). it makes lovely sweaters with a beautiful hand in both stockinette and textured fabric, but it also does lace like nobody’s business, blocking out into edges that seem cut from crystal and holding its shape with perfection.


i fell in love with it as soon as i saw it, but i became very much more attached when i began to knit with it. the first thing i made was the shawl i designed for the march club installment, fringetree. this design was a little slow in coming to me and a little resistant to coalescing at the time, but once it finally defined itself i was certain it was just the right thing for showing off this yarn.


the mix of its chiseled good looks with the delicate fluttering lace motifs is a surprise, while the contrast of all those lace points with the softness of the fabric is pleasantly disarming.


fringetree turned out to be a real hit with our club members too; one of those designs that lots of people seize on as the perfect early spring knit. its complex appearance belies its surprisingly easy-to-work construction and once you get it on the needles it flies along.


(i just love this photo of my friend kris modeling the shawl; she looks like she’s about to lift off on its wings.)


the fabric is so light and soft that it can be piled up and wound round the neck as a scarf or allowed to flutter free in the breeze—it flexes with the weather at hand. i know one knitter who sleeps in hers, which is my favorite feedback on this design so far.


and with three sizes included, there is one for every use. i’m always partial to the petite and mini sizes because i find little shawls terribly useful when traveling. but with these options and our new halfsies and mini-sized skeins, everyone’s desires are covered.


shown here, the medium shawl (left) and the petite shawl (right) in bare naked wools stone soup fingering yarn, color pumice

and now is when it gets interesting, because as much as we love this design in the stone soup yarn, we have a special batch of yarn that is also lovely knit up as a fringetree.

shown below, the petite size shawl in breakfast special #2, color cream n sugar.


we received this one-of-a-kind batch of breakfast blend fingering from our mill in the cream n sugar shade back in december. when we took it out of the box, we could see it had been spun to perfection—angel hair in a skein, i’m not kidding you.


everything about it—the drape, the halo, the next-to-the-skin softness—was something special alright; only problem was, it was just a little too thin to qualify as our regular breakfast blend fingering yarn. at 500 yards per skein, it was not hefty enough for socks but would make lovely lace.

i figured, why not do one of our special kits with it when the fringetree is ready to be released?


so we did—david has just opened the kit listing; there are just sixty skeins available (the two-skein option will actually allow you to make both the petite and the medium size). this yarn would also make a really lovely wedding shawl, kinda like the one our kim wore last week at her wedding.


the one-skein option will make the adorable petite size, perfect for those of us who love scarves or a very quick knit—you could totally knit this by easter sunday.


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


the shawl pattern is also included in the BNK 2013 eBook collection—14 terrific garment and accessory patterns that celebrate the beauty of natural fiber, 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.


another fun thing to do—click here to view the project page for the fringetree shawl. see more examples knit by club members and photographed on a variety of people and in alternate yarns. or better yet, join us in our swinging’ BNK clubhouse or knitspot mothership for a KAL!


thank you so very much to karen who modeled the new shawl sample for us this week—doesn’t she look adorable in it? i love how she’s rocking’ a bit of a cowboy look with it, so cute.  and many thanks all to our friends helena and kris who modeled the original designs for us last year.