behind the scenes

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects, yarn and dyeing

awww, the fringe tree is in bloom; isn’t it sweet? and it’s nice and breezy this week so the fringes shiver and shake all day, sending the scent straight onto the office windows, mmm.

this isn’t the best photo of my asparagus, but we’ve been picking some every day and eating it every few days when we have collected a big enough bunch to make something.

like this pasta with sautéed mushrooms, grilled asparagus, and black olives—my favorite. there’s no recipe; just sauté all that stuff with garlic and oil and put it on cooked pasta. it takes about thirty minutes, tops, perfect for hot weather meals.

it’s been a super-busy week around here since my last post—LOTS of knitting and another chapter of BNK done and dusted. we shipped a very interesting yarn this month which was really inspiring to design with (more about the yarn near the end of this post!). so much so that in addition to (spoiler alert!) the originally planned design, i snuck in a last-minute extra option, which i then had to knit with just a week to go before publication. so that’s why i was absent most of last week.

in fact, when i finally came up for air i found all manner of goodies waiting for me—more asparagus, which i cut yesterday and grilled for dinner last night with salmon. also, tender little swiss chard that sprang up all over the garden beds, which i picked this morning while it was still cool. we’ll sauté that with a few more stalks of asparagus and a handful of mushrooms to fill some omelets for dinner. mm-mmm.

the best part is, we didn’t have to do a thing to get that stuff; it all came back from last year, haha.

oh, and another thing that happened last weekend was that anne marie visited and the spinners came over for a party. we ordered in a full array of indian dishes

we opened wine and proceeded to carry on and make a LOT of noise for a few hours, haha. mister knitspot even joined us to eat, brave soul.

linda and beckie came, too; it was a lot of fun.

barb brought her bloch ness test knit, which she made up in our breakfast blend DK (which we are working on restocking). it only has one button now, but the rest are on the way—she got them custom made from buttonalia on etsy. there are some really cute choices there for useg with natural yarn colors.

naturally susan had to try it on as well and it does look great on her.

especially from the back, i think. anne marie is knitting a sample for us in our new romney/merino blend and once she’s done, we’ll release the pattern.

we just got word yesterday that our full order of romney/merino DK is ready to ship, which got me ALL excited. i am counting the days til it gets here, but with a holiday weekend looming, i’m not optimistic that we’ll see it before next tuesday. but you ever know . . .

anyway, it was really fun to have everyone together again; one thing i love about us is that we make sure to meet up a couple of times a year. one of these days we’re going to have to go to anne marie’s—maybe for maryland S&W next may . . .

like i said, once my secret knitting for the month was off the needles, i was itchy to get my hands on something completely different and get to work on some smaller projects i can knit in public; i’m going to be traveling a lot in june and i was completely out of public knitting to take along.

i’ve been thinking that it’s time to get a lightweight lace scarf going; something to add to my little nothings collection in a stitch pattern i can memorize easily, to drag around in my purse for impromtu knitting opportunities. and i wanted something with some color . . .

this exquisite lace silk/merino blend from indigo moon is just the ticket; a smooth, lustrous multi-ply lace weight in the most heavenly blue—the color of a late evening sky. i heart it.

it’s been in my stash for a couple of years, waiting for the right project. i just want to knit with this color, so i’m swatching to find the perfect motif to show it off and still experimenting.

then i started a random pair of socks in the new yarn we’ll be offering in our shop very soon. this is our “ghillie” 3-ply sock/fingering yarn, spun from 100% cheviot wool. cheviot is a soft but tough wool fiber used traditionally to make hardwearing scottish tweed and twill cloth as well as for knitting kilt hose.

we shipped ghillie to our BNK club this month to great acclaim from our members and are now preparing it for general release this friday. haha, of course, i’m hoping to have a sock ready to use in the store listing photos. think i can manage it? did i foil myself from the start by making it david-size instead of anne-size??

i dunno, it’s pretty smooth knitting; i could do it .  .

actually, i started the sock in the pattern we shipped with the club, but then realized my mistake—if i knit that design for a store listing, we won’t be able to sell the pattern with the yarn. DUH (the fine points of marketing present a big learning curve for me).

fortunately, i realized my mistake right away and ripped out the start of that first cuff to begin something new—a sock based on the strömming cap pattern. i’m excited; this pattern has been on my list for a while and now i have a very good reason to start it.

cheviot is such an interesting wool—it’s a fine, soft, springy fiber that is nevertheless sometimes classified as longwool because it also has a longer staple, is resilient and durable, and resists felting. and as you can see from the photo, it can have a some lustre. it makes a light fabric with a kind of crunchy hand (which sometimes masks its softness) and offers incredibly crisp stitch definition. when you wash it, the yarn brightens even more and blooms to make a smooth, cohesive surface.

(washed on the left, unwashed on the right)

i’ve enjoyed knitting with it a LOT. this yarn would work well for many of my long list of sock patterns—and with father’s day right around the corner, you might be looking for ideas. it’d also be great for many of my friend cookie‘s patterns, perfect for showing off all those twist-stitch motifs she’s so fond of. and if you know anyone who loves knitting kilt hose, this is the yarn for them.

we gave our club members first crack at our supply, so we are already sold out of the oversized (600 yards) skeins but have regular 4-ounce skeins (450 yards) left that will go on sale friday in our online yarn shop. and since it looks like this one is going to be popular, we are already working on a re-order of both small and large skeins.

speaking of socks, prodded by our dear friend helen, i made time the week before last to finally write up another pattern idea i’d had for a while, this one based on the squish me cap design (haha, i guess i like my socks to match my hats)

helen’s got one pair of socks done and our other friend, carol is knitting a pair here on this side of the pond in our own breakfast blend fingering (color espresso, mm), which i’ll be able to use for photography. for carol’s pair, we decided to dispense with the ribbed cuff and bring the main texture all the way to the top (as in the original cap design). the pattern will include options for both.

the pattern is all written and proofed; we just need to gather samples and do photography, yay; i’m back in the sock business for real. i even have an idea for a third pattern i want o write up very soon.

phew—lots of news! i actually have more knitting news to share, but i think i’ll save that for thursday; why drown you now and starve you later? especially when i have so much calling me on my desk. so why don’t we reconvene in a couple of days’ time to see what else is going on at chez knitspot (and maybe see some sock progress, eh?)

12 thoughts on “behind the scenes

  1. I’ve almost finished the second sock Anne. I thought I’d have it done and dusted last weekend and even de-stubbled my legs for a photo shoot haha!! But I got sidetracked by some spinning. Should be done any time soon. I love the look of Bloch Ness, Barb and Susan look great modelling it.

  2. I love everything here, but that asparagus-pasta dish may rank at the top (yum, another recipe for my own produce).

    What yarn is the blue squish-me sock made of? The color is so pleasing. Your ghillie yarn intrigues me, too. Crunchy, yet soft? Must try!

  3. Ahhh you’re killing me Anne! Little nothing sounds good, it’s getting hot here and all this heat makes me not want to knit the bigger stuff. And I love the start of the new sock, can’t wait to see that one! I keep my sock knitting in the car now for easy knitting, and I’m almost done with the current one so I need a new one!

  4. Yea…more to add to my list. I love the squish me socks!!!! Busy lady you are, Lucky for us!

  5. Love the socks, love Bloch Ness, love the Cheviot. There’s only one problem with being a Knitspot fan…..not enough time to knit!

  6. How do you do it?? Every post is a trove of lovely new designs, and now, yarn, too! I love all of it!

  7. I love how you very often write blog posts that cover my favorite things in life: plants, food, and yarn (how do you feel about my other 2 favs, beer and music?)! I think I might need to see if I have space for a fringe tree, and I think I need to put olives and asparagus on my grocery list 🙂

  8. Your garden goodness is making me salivate. (Didn’t I read something earlier about no garden this year? How nice that you have such an established variety of produce.). The knitting is also gorgeous and I enjoyed seeing bloch ness on someone whose size was more relateable to me!

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