oh gosh . . .

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


holy cow, look what day it is already! for heaven’s sake, the whole year is just slipping away between my fingers. why, it’s time to get a serious start on christmas knitting and i feel as if i just finished up last year’s.

please excuse my week-long absence—i don’t know what happened; time just flies when i’m busy and working, i guess. one minute it was last tuesday and the next, it’s this tuesday. and to boot, i’ll probably be interrupted several times while writing this long overdue post.


my knitting last week was a bit schizophrenic, which is another reason i didn’t post—i kept feeling like those two rnds on my cowl and three rows on my sweater sleeve would not interest you all that much.


one thing i did do was to finalize the project patterns and complete the november chapter of our fall in full color club; this month, i designed a set of three projects for our november yarn selection based on this design (spoiler alert; don’t click on any of these links if you haven’t received your yarn and you want to be surprised). and i started a new sample of this companion design as a gift for someone on my christmas list. and i blocked the samples that arrived from the test knitters.


i also made some some nice progress on that little scarf—it grows so quickly in the DK weight yarn; very satisfying when life makes me feel like i’m actually going backwards. i’m trying to decide whether to keep this one kinda short or go into a second skein and make it longer. i like the idea of keeping it short so that there is a lot of texture right up around the neck (and it’s plenty wide to provide cozy bulk). also, it’s nice not to have to deal with those long scarf ends. a short version could be fun too, with a big button or toggle or pin to secure it into a cowl shape . . . you can do anything with a simple rectangle.

i think i just settled that for myself, thanks very much.


BTW, how do you like my little plaid blanket? i found this in a booth of second hand vintage woolens at our local fiber show (wooster) back in may. the woman i bought it from had a small selection of lap robes and rugs that came from passenger ships, some of them quite heavy. it’s probably somewhere more than thirty but less than sixty years old


the label isn’t dated but it does have modern care symbols, so i’m thinking it’s not all that old. but clearly hand woven, which is lovely. what i love about it (besides the awesome ombré color weave) is its lightness and size—it measures about 36 by 48 inches; just perfect to cover my whole lap while i’m knitting and no more. at just fourteen ounces, it’s easy to flip on and off when i need to get up. i love it

when i bought it, i told the seller what a total blanket junkie i am, but since i’m also a napper i can rotate among my blankets according to my mood, ensuring that they all get used and loved enough. she laughed and said she liked my approach.

maybe some day we’ll get some blankets woven from our yarns, how would that be?


last week, sarah caked up four skeins of stone soup fingering in the slate shade so that as soon as the chapter was done, i could start knitting a secret project from a pattern i’ve been working on for the last month. and now it’s back from the proofreader, so tonight, i can get started. yay.


i’ve been spending a lot of my actual knitting time swatching like mad for some seasonal holiday/winter wear projects as well as for testing new yarns. last week our order of sport/DK ghillie arrived and we all immediately fell in love with its softness and sheen (it’s even softer than the sock version).  i finally got a chance to explore it on the needles over the weekend.


we thought that a 3-ply sport/DK from the cheviot wool would be a super yarn to knit into classic sweaters—the kind you wear and love for a lifetime. i wasn’t sure how much the yarn would bloom (the fingering version bloomed a lot), so i did my first test drive the size 6US/4.0 mm needles.


now this fabric will be fine for scarves and heavy cowls, maybe even heavily cabled fabric. but for for sweaters in a plain fabric or a knit/purl texture or with a single cable detail like the one below,


i’m pretty sure, even from the unwashed swatch, that i’d go down a needle size. and for accessories where a firmer fabric is required (hats, mitts, heavy socks) probably even smaller.

that said, look at what a difference a good soaking makes in the cohesiveness of the fabric


it’s like buttah. and—oh my—so soft.

both swatches are quite lovely and better behaved after a nice hot bath. i’m thinking that we should knit a remake of aztec mazes from this yarn—maybe a longer cardigan? i also have always meant to write up the pattern for the sweater i’m wearing in this photo shoot; maybe i’ve just been waiting for the right yarn to come along, huh?


this yarn would make fabulous heavy boot socks—just the kind of project where cheviot shows you what it’s really made of. in fact, our anniversary is next week and i am woefully behind on my usual gift of hand knit socks for david. maybe i have time to knit one more pair by next monday?

david is listing this yarn in the store site as i write, so it should be available very soon; look for more details in our newsletter and in an upcoming post where i’ll tell you all about the history and production of our gorgeous ghillie yarns.

i did a WHOLE bunch of swatching for a secret project that i’ll be working on behind the scenes, but took a break from that for a while to swatch for our annual red scarf scholarship design.


i like this allover cable and stripe motif; it’s flexible enough to be resized and/or coordinates well with several other stitch patterns i might want to use. i’m thinking we will do a scarf and cowl pattern as usual for the fundraiser design and—due to popular demand in other years—a soft hat with matching mittens in a separate pattern, also as a fundraiser.

they won’t be knit in this orange; this is just the color i had on hand as leftovers. this year, i’m working with jill at studio june yarns and she is hard at work dyeing up a few of her reds for test knitting and samples. as soon as they arrive, we’ll be able to get started. yay.

again, i will post more details as soon as i have them. in the meantime, i have another note from brandy, our 2013 scholarship recipient, so i thought that a nice way to end today’s post would be to share that with you:

Hello Anne,

I hope all is well with you! I thought I’d write and let you know how my quarter is going. So far I have been keeping up with all my homework, and doing well on them. We just passed midterm and I had a couple of tests. On one test I received a B, and on the other I received an A. I have found a few favorite places to go and hangout, I will send these pictures at a later date.  I haven’t been able to go and visit my family at this point and I miss them terribly, I am planning on going to see them for Thanksgiving.

and later, in reply to my return email . . .

This is my first year at Western Washington University, although I came here already having earned my A.A. My family lives about 3 hours south of where I am 6 hours sometimes when traffic is bad. The weather up here has been really nice for washington weather, although it has in the past few days turned really cold and windy. I love the snow so I would probably love living there! I wish I liked running, but it’s never been one of those things I’m into. I could spend all day walking or on an elliptical, but not running! I know how you feel with deadlines I’ve been so swamped with homework it’s hard to choose what to get done first! With as much as you have going on I can’t believe you have time to go to yoga classes! But everything does sound exciting! I can’t wait to see the new designs. And my school is about 90 miles north of Seattle so it is possible if I’m not too busy with school!

Sorry it took me so long to write back I’ve gotten a cold this week and spent most of it sleeping and trying to get homework done.

I hope all has been well with you and your readers. Happy Holidays and I hope to hear from you again.

Brandy Weaver


18 thoughts on “oh gosh . . .

  1. Love the new Ghillie DK! I am looking forward to your Red Scarf pattern for 2013. I really like the top swatch. :o)

  2. I had last year’s red scarf on tonight to walk the dog. I love it! It’s so soft, and it looks very stylish.

  3. I was glad to see a new post, Anne, because I was afraid you might have had another post-race repercussion. Glad it’s just your usual amazing busy-ness.

    Thanks for sharing Brandy’s note, and the preview of this year’s red scarf. I like the top swatch, too. I love the version I made of last year’s design.

    Yes, please make a cardigan version of Aztec Mazes as well as the smashing sweater with cables!

  4. Apparently, I am a total wuss because I can’t decide which swatch I like best, smile. When you show a swatch, I always think of your remarkable talk and hands on examination of swatches at Sock SuMmit. My DVD of your blocking techniques arrived yesterday? Maybe day before. Can’t wait to watch it.

  5. Looking forward to the red scarf pattern…my vote is for the top one also. What a nice letter from Brandy. Always liked that cable sweater when you wore it….nice cables.

  6. Avoca Handweavers are still in business. I passed their workshop when I visited Ireland in May 2000 and I have seen throws for sale in Annapolis, MD very recently. I got one as a wedding gift 8 years ago and loved it until my ex felted it in the wash. Nice find!!

  7. Here we go again – “Aztec Mazes” – oh Anne, stop. How do you do it??? You create such wonderful designs, but then also come up with the most appropriate names for them. Even the color of the yarn seemed Aztec to me. I absolutely love your creativity – and wish I had some of your energy 🙂

  8. Anne – I’m sure you’ve had this question a ton of times, but where do you purchase your knitting calendars? I’ve been a long-time follower of your blog and notice that you get on every year. Thanks. BTW, I like the middle swatch best for the red scarf. Just my 2 cents.

  9. oh yes pretty please write up the cabled pullover! I have been admiring it for quite some time and it is a beauty!

  10. Yes, please. Would love a pattern for the cabled sweater. Also – thanks for including the update from Brandy. I hope she feels the support WE feel for her. And I chuckle thinking of that quote attributed to Madeleine Albright: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

  11. Oh it’s so nice to hear from Brandy. Brandy, I hope you can have a good rest over the holidays and have a little fun too. An A and a B on tests, that’s very nicely done, by the way. All the best!!!

  12. Congrats on the blanket find! I just found an Avoca wool cape at a vintage store – I wasn’t familiar with them, but did some research after buying it. They make beautiful things!

  13. I have visited the Avoca shop on a trip to Ireland, and it is hard to ignore all the beautiful textiles there. You certainly picked a good ‘un! Love those colours. Great to hear that Brandy is doing well, looking forward to this year’s pattern. I like the bottom swatch best, closely followed by the top one. Have you run out of room for storing all your new BareNaked yarns at home?! At least it will be well insulated!

  14. The calendar is actually a perpetual calendar, I have one; you will notice it shows no day, just the date. I believe it is a Martingale product. If you search “knitting calendar” on amazon it is one of the first things that pops up. I have been knitting everyone a square of their own special stitch for their birthdays 🙂

  15. I am continually inspired by your swatch knitting and promises of future patterns. Can’t wait to see the Red Scarf pattern – it looks like a definite winner!

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

  16. I am *drooling* over that lap robe. What a find! And I’m so glad you are doing the fundraiser again–a great cause, and one that really gets neglected in our society.

  17. I am lucky enough to have a couple of Avoca items, bought in Ireland. I think your casual comment re: weaving your yarns should be revisited. It would make a wonderful next distraction. Perhaps a collaboration with an existing company would be fruitful.

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