wake and eddy

Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in patterns


oooh, it’s fall and october and rhinebeck time. and when it’s rhinebeck time, it’s time to get together with good friends—like sweet jen from spirit trail fiberworks.


when jen asks me to design with her yarn, i can’t say no—i love it all so much. it’s a bit of a tradition to create something new each year for her booth at rhinebeck and this year, it’s a luxurious scarf/infinity loop/cowl knit with her scrumptious birte DK.


the colors she sent me to work with are water colors—one dark and one lighter. i immediately began to think in terms of wavy patterns that would remind me of water or waterfalls in some way.


birte is a nice round yarn blended from merino, cashmere, and silk—luscious, right? it catches the light with a soft sheen and drapes beautifully against the body as it falls from the shoulder.


while i fell in love with this undulating wave pattern, i was a bit concerned that it might drape too much, so i trimmed the edges with rolling garter stitch and added a cable to the center to stabilize the fabric.


the result is a scarf or cowl with just the right amount of weight to slump ever so lazily around the shoulders without losing its body completely. it’s light and warm and soft as can be, with a fine cashmere halo all about its surface


to catch the light in its openwork. sigh.

shown above: short cowl/small infinity, knit with one skein of spirit trail birte, colorwway bog shadows

shown below: petite scarf, knit with two skeins of spirit trail birte, colorwway ebb and flow


pattern also includes instructions for a long infinity scarf and a longer rectangle scarf.


to purchase pattern or view complete pattern information, please click here to visit the wake and eddy page in the knitspot pattern shop or click here to see specs and purchase in my ravelry pattern shop


you can’t tell from these serene photos, but we are all a bit crazed here, trying to pull everything into place for our trek to the hudson valley of new york—we are going to the fair!


in the spirit trail booth, you’ll be able to see these samples alongside jen’s entire array birte colorways to knit your own wake and eddy. and for those who choose yarn to buy birte for this project, she will provide a free ravelry download of the digital pattern (available at the spirit trail booth only, sat 10/18 and sun 10/19)

nice deal, right?

well, there’s more . . . we are also releasing the pyro, chiminea, and firestorm patterns at the show, featuring jen’s sunna—the fingering version of this delicious merino/cashmere/silk blend. if you purchase sunna to knit those pieces, you will also get THAT pattern free (as a ravelry download; available only at the show 10/18 and 10/19 from spirit trail fiberworks).

yep, we are going to the sheep and wool and i’ve been planning what i’ll knit on this trip—i’ll be away almost two weeks. first things first—i have a couple of samples and swatches i’d like to complete for our after party popup shop and for my classes at our retreat.


once i’m in the car with sarah at the wheel, i plan to snuggle into that passenger seat with a nice ball of our new, better breakfast DK (coming soon; we are SO excited!). i’m going to treat myself to a short wake and eddy cowl—i can just feel it.

i’ve been so crazed that i haven’t even had a chance to knit something substantial from this yarn yet and i’m dying to get my fingertips into it. trust me, this is so, so lush—everyone who touches it goes weak in the knees. if you’ve been loving breakfast blend, you will simply adore better breakfast. i have just two words to say about it: completely dehaired.


that’s right, the new mill we’re working with is able to remove all that tickly guard hair, leaving this yarn with nothing but soft, downy fibers. even the fussiest and most sensitive of our test knitters are swooning over it. (hattie will vouch for it!)


interested? come see and purchase the fingering version at our after party popup shop right after the wool show, open sunday october 19th (2 pm on) through tuesday october 21st  at the marriott hotel in kingston, new york.
(click here to see photos of our first sample knits in this divine yarn)


we’ll have a VERY limited number of sample skeins available in a few shades, fingering weight only, while supplies last. come and get it.

oh phew, i have been keeping that secret for months; it feels SO GOOD to finally tell!

in fact, we will be talking about and playing with yarn and color for three days—why don’t you join us? learn, have fun, and enhance your stash; there are  a few spots left. click here for more details


Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in projects


I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this cardi. Months ago, we sent Jen Hagan skeins of various Bare Naked Wools to swatch and explore. Breakfast Blend DK immediately struck her fancy.

She told me, “I knew right away I wanted to swatch some cables with it. The wool/alpaca blend is perfect for cables. Alpaca for softness and wool for definition.” After spending some time swatching and sending me sneak peeks, she finalized the design and chose Bakery Rye. She said, “It really is as scrumptious as rye – my favorite bread.”

BB_DK_bakery_rye_lo web

As she knit through the design she would release progress pics on Instagram making the knitting world just drool over the photos.


Even the wrong side was gorgeous! And then, two months ago she posted this pic


with the caption, “She’s all done, buttons and all! Now to finish writing the pattern and get some testers.” I wasn’t the only one dying to see the finished piece! Test knitters were clamoring for a chance to work on this design.

Throughout this process Jen and I kept in touch and she shed some light on the design.

How did your design come to fruition?

The yarn often tells me what to do. It’s the boss of me sometimes. The Glentrekker came to me as a perfect use of this lovely yarn. The structure of the cardigan took some twists and turns (haha), but I finally decided to let it be simple. The garment structure is pretty traditional.

How is BB DK different than other yarns you’ve designed with?

I love that this is American-made fiber and I am working with another small business in this project. Teamwork! Also, the yarn is of exquisite quality. I don’t remember encountering one single knot and I was able to work felted joins for the entire sweater, leaving few ends to weave when I was done. The fabric washed and blocked out gorgeously. The whole project was a delight.

I am pleased to introduce Glentrekker by Jen Hagan, a limited edition Bare Naked Wools kit.


The allover cable detail is strategically placed in this raglan design for intrigue and flatter, complete with a shawl collar it is a super comfy design to wear this fall and even into cold winter days with a scarf or cowl.


Plus, Jen also designed a hat as a great accompanying piece, an idea inspired by her hero Elizabeth Zimmerman. “In her book The Opinionated Knitter, the instructions for her Leaflet #6 Circular Aran Sweater state ‘I shall not ask you to make the hated swatch, but a useful cap, which will familiarize you with the patterns, and give you a perfect gauge.’ What an excellent idea!”

BB_DK_morning_glory_lo web

Kits are available in five colors of Breakfast Blend DK here and the first 30 kit customers get the sweater and hat patterns for FREE! Grab one here.


Need buttons for your cardi? We have shell and glass options here.


And, in case you haven’t heard, we now stock ChiaoGoo needles in our online store! Shop sizes here.

Join us for the After Party next weekend in New York and you can see these pieces in person! They will be on display Oct 19-21 in the popup store. Want to make sure you snag a kit during the After Party? Order your kit online today, make a note on your order that you want to pick it up in New York, and we will pack it in the van!

I’m super pleased to announce that Jen will also be hosting a KAL in the Bare Naked Wools ravelry group. You can choose the Glentrekker cardi or hat, or both! Cast on begins November 1 and runs through February 1. Join the fun here.


And HAPPY I LOVE YARN DAY to everyone! Go ahead and give some a yarn a squeeze and cast something new on. Enjoy!

it’s that (fine, fine) time again

Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, designing, food and garden, projects, yarn and dyeing


yesterday i was running my usual circuit of nearby neighborhoods as a break from desktop madness, when two young dear nonchalantly crossed the street just in front of me, as they grazed from one yard to another. the stillness of that street and their quietude instantly made me drop my shoulders and take a deep breath. this is why i do this, i thought, as they allowed me to get quite close to snap photos. i just love running . . .

with my ankle all healed up now (thank goodness), i’m training for a november half marathon event with a course on the towpath running alongside the ohio  and erie canal. of all the races i did in the last year, this was my favorite, running almost the whole way in the woods along the water—i wish they were all like that.

meanwhile back at work, things are just a tad crazy around here right now, as we all get ready for our trek to rhinebeck next week.


david and anastasia are packing yarn for our booth at indie untangled on friday, 10/17 as well as our popup shop which opens on sunday, 10/19 at the kingston courtyard marriott


we’ll be in that location for three days, participating in our fun after party retreat. the store there will be larger and chock full of luscious yarn, patterns, and design samples (we’ll also have needles and natural buttons available)


as well as kits for my newest designs. we are bringing as much as we can fit into the van but if you know you want a sweater or blanket quantity of something specific and would like to be sure, please let us know—we are happy to take pre-orders.


we’ll be doing a whole concentration on color knitting at the retreat, working out how color (or shade) and stitch patterns relate to one another. some spots still available for classes if you are making last minute plans to come—we welcome you to join us!


don’t worry that these classes might to be too difficult—the emphasis for this one is on simple constructions and techniques so that we can fully explore and appreciate color behavior. we will  have one whole day just for working on a project.


i’ve got a couple of new designs to use in that class or you could work with one of the recently released color projects. i’ve just finished this mass transit cowl using several shades of our new confection sport yarn along with a multi-colorway of briar rose fourth of july. i just love it!


i also love the back side of this one a LOT, where the orange yarn is more dominant—isn’t that pretty? this one is especially dear to me because it was an exclusive colorway that appeared in our first fall color club.


speaking of samples, i finally remembered to snap a few photos of barb’s wake and eddy test knit in spirit trail birte. it’s SO rich and lush, mmm.


the scarf or infinity scarf require two skeins; the short cowl cowl requires one skein.


sarah is editing the pictures from our photo shoot yesterday; i will be releasing this pattern next week just before we leave for new york. this scarf and the coordinating cowl will appear in jen’s booth as a show special—details to be announced.


we will also be showing a beautiful new set called sugardance, designed by our friend lara smoot and knit in our ghillie sport/DK


this cozy cowl and matching fingerless mitts are a wonderful weight for late fall weather and so attractive. i love the texture and those big holes; it always makes me want to look closer.

new samples in bare naked wools are arriving every day, in fact; it’s so exciting that other designers are publishing patterns for our yarns. we will be showing them off frequently in the months to come


look for this brand spanking new set, including a sweater plus accessories knit up in breakfast blend DK by jen hagan to be released tomorrow. the sweater is just gorgeous; i can’t wait to see her photos. and she sent  a stack of hats along with it so we can take pictures too. these samples will be featured in our booths as well, so you can see them in person when you visit.

and last but not least, my friend laura nelkin has published a book recently—you may have heard. she’s going to be at rhinebeck signing them in the author’s alley at the sheep and wool show.


knockout knits is a collection of technique-driven designs that are paired with how-to segments for a variety of knitting types. include are instructional sections for such techniques as lace, wrapped stitches, beading, etc.

laura explains the purpose of each type and illustrates/demonstrates how to perform each one. discussion might also include appropriate choices for materials.

and then there are patterns to support each section of the book—these run the gamut from very simple and quick beginner projects to those that are more involved. this makes it nice for experienced knitters who have never beaded, but can handle (and even appreciate) a more complex project. at the same time, newbies or those with less time are not left behind. i like that feature a lot.

this is a beautiful book; if you are considering a gift for a new or intermediate knitter who has more to learn, this would be an excellent choice.


alright now, somebody here said something about being REALLY busy and still working on materials and secret knitting for next week—sounds like she should get her heinie back to work right this minute!


oh and by the way, for those who are not coming to rhinebeck—our BNWs boutique will remain open while we are traveling; david, anastasia, emily, and erica will be manning the fort while we’re gone.


boilermaker and mass transit

Posted on 8 CommentsPosted in patterns


some things—and some people—are just destined to be paired. what’s good on its own is suddenly great when the other is in the mix.


it’s like that with my friend chris from briar rose—we’re not attached at the hip, but whenever we work together, it feels like magic is in the mix.


this time, it’s a bevy of delicious cowls, knit up in easy to master color work patterns using her fourth of july and our bare naked wools confection sport. yowza.


the coolest thing about these projects is how many, many options you have—with just one pattern, one skein of dyed yarn and two shades of undyed yarn, you can knit three generously sized short cowls or one lo-o-ong cowl and one short one. but that’s not the best part.


the best part is that if you desire it, each one of those pieces can look completely different from the others. you’re friends will be aMAZed.


these are but a few of the combinations you could knit for the boilermaker cowl alone.

and if color’s not your thing, well . . .


you still have options.

(if you start now, you could knit a good number of them by the time the holidays are upon us.)


seriously, these could really put a dent in that holiday knitting list you’ve got going—and with so little effort, it’s almost criminal (but deliciously so).


shown above: mass transit cowl, size small, knit with briar rose fibers fourth of july (blue), combined with bare naked wools stone soup DK (marble and granite)

shown below: boilermaker cowl, size small, knit with briar rose fibers fourth of july (green), combined with bare naked wools confection sport (nougat and milk chocolate)


each pattern also includes a large size which is double the length; either size is easily adjustable in length and width.


the all-neutral version is knit with three shade of our new confection sport yarn.

to purchase pattern or view complete pattern information, please click here to visit the mass transit page or the boilermaker page in the knitspot pattern shop or click here and here to see specs and purchase in my ravelry pattern shop

best of all, david has put together a kit! each kit includes your choice of mass transit or boilermaker pattern, two halfsie skeins (2 ounces/187 yards) of confection sport, AND one half size skein (4 ounces/275 yards) of briar rose fourth of july in your choice of four colors

OR two halfsie skeins (2 ounces/187 yards) of confection sport, AND one full skein (4 ounces/375 yards) of dark chocolate confection sport.


that’s enough yarn to knit three small cowls or one large and one small cowl; have we convinced you yet?


there’s one last option that might sway you . . .


cashmere lining anyone? it’s really easy to add a luxurious lining to your cowl—a sure barrier against even the fiercest winds. knit one for the person you love and watch them glow with the pleasure of it.

then knit your own as a reward; there’s enough for three or four add-on linings in just one skein of our pura bella undyed mongolian cashmere—get it while it lasts.


many thanks to my friends jude and lincoln for coming out after a long day at school to model these cowls for us. and of course also to the incredibly lovely sarah—isn’t she beautiful?

and for  my friend chris at briar rose fibers—visit both of us in her booth at rhinebeck in just a couple of weeks!


interested in exploring color a little more, maybe in the company of good friends? come join us at our rhinebeck after party event in kingston, new york right after rhinebeck weekend. we will be talking about and playing with yarn and color for three days—learn, have fun, and enhance your stash in our popup shop. click here for more details