ah, our weather finally broke this week; for two whole days now, the temperatures have been above 30 degrees. ok so what that it was gray and rainy all day today with thundersnow showers?
yesterday was actually nice; even what you’d call warmish, with sun and everything. i took full advantage and got a longer run in while i had the chance.
don’t think that makes us complacent . . .
despite the spike in temperature, our front walk still looks mostly like this; heaven only knows how long it will take those snow banks to melt.
our front yard looks like a gnome’s winter village.
before i get into knitting news, erica and susan have entered our business in the fedex small business/big grant competition. our next step is to collect votes from readers and customers who love our work; businesses with the most votes will move on to the next level of consideration for a grant. and that’s where you can help us! readers are allowed to vote once per day through february 23rd, so please help us out and cast your vote today and each day until tuesday next week. thank you!
so it’s windy and gray outside; what’s new? inside however, things are just as they should be—lots of knitting and yarn and good people. now that this months’ club chapter has been released, i can turn my attention to finishing up some other projects that are on the needles. my cowl in spirit trail verdande (color wild blueberries) came off the needles yesterday morning.
and went straight into the blocking bath. one skein was the perfect amount for a shorter cowl
plus a generous gauge swatch.
the fabric relaxes quite a lot when it’s washed and because the yarn has a pretty tight twist, it takes a while to dry. but once it’s completely given up any moisture, it regains its springiness very nicely.
yet it has beautiful drape for a piece like this, which has some built in shape to accent the stitch patterns. it’s a long story (which i’ll tell you another time), but as a child i experienced a pivotal mind shift while viewing a piece of op art painting—my first exposure to the genre. recently, i realized the importance of this moment, which has shaped the way i looked at the world ever since.
in a similarly sudden way, i stumbled across a set of stitch patterns that brought the whole event rushing back to me and i thought it might be time to transform this experience into a present day work. so this little series of design is based on my op art moment.
the cowl is the first piece in the series and i plan a couple of others, all in different weights of the same yarn blend (merino/cashmere/silk), using stitch patterns that are similar, but contrast in scale. so far the marriage of this yarn with the pattern is perfect; rich and full bodied but with great drape. i can’t wait to do more
i also finished my polartorte hat and i love it. several readers wrote to ask about the yarn which i neglected to link to in my previous post about the hat. i’m knitting with our stone soup DK, in the marble shade and it IS the loveliest silvery gray, with a bit of sparkle from the sheen of the fibers included.
this is another great piece to learn on; between learning to cable and doing the graft at the top, it’s got at least two good lessons.
i got this one blocked right away too; it’s so easy with smaller pieces. i can put them on to soak while i’m starting the coffee in the morning and when i go to get a second cup, i can take it out of the bath to begin the drying process. by keeping it near my desk or in a spot that i pass by throughout the day, i am reminded to turn and reshape it frequently, so the yarn regains its light, lofty personality and the stitches plump up and fall into nice even lines.
seriously, you could even bring a small project to the office and baby it throughout the day, it’s that easy (on the other hand, maybe that’s one reason i never did fit into office culture very well?).
clean and even more sparkly, it joins its siblings . . .
look how handsome they are! now to get some nice photos; sarah and david need to organize that and nicole will put a kit together (just one skein makes any size, yay!). soon it will be ready for release, yay.
we are very excited to be participating in the shalimarch event this year, with a new design to offer in shalimar enzo aran, a twelve-ply superwash merino yarn. i thought this would make an excellent blanket, soft an warm and drapey, yum!
i thought a design based on our very popular roger sock pattern would be fun—such a cushy texture; what’s not to love?
we asked vanessa if she’d like to knit the test sample. or we thought we did anyway—poor vanessa, received the sample yarn in the mail and thought it was something she’d forgotten she ordered; both myself and erica thought the other was getting hold of vanessa to ask, haha.
no worries thought; she was happy to say yes, since she’s been laid up with a bad knee again. i think she got the yarn a week ago and i sent her the pattern on sunday. and in true vanessa style . . . wah-LA
and i’m stoked; it’s really nice, isn’t it? it will be beautiful to photograph. and another great practice piece for sarah, who is learning to block.
no time to waste admiring our work though; we’ve got a jam-packed calendar and lots to do before next wednesday, when i go up to cleveland to tape a couple of segments for knitting daily TV. in one episode, we’re going to talk about fitting sweaters and in the other we’ll chat about using undyed yarns. i will demonstrate my grandma’s cast on, as well as how to close the top of a hat nicely and weave in the ends.
since hats are so popular (and essential) this winter, i’ll be demonstrating these techniques on samples of the slouch potato hat that we haven’t yet released (it will be out there by the time the episode goes live). it’s a great example because we happen to have it knit in several different yarns/fiber types.
i’m knitting it right now in our kent DK. this pattern is really similar to the scotty cap but the brim does not have the button detail and it’s designed for a heavier yarn (so the stitch counts are quite different). anyway, i just love the way it’s working up in our beach glass shade of kent—so glossy and elegant. the top will have lovely drape; just the right amount.
and with that, i am reminded that i have lots of swatches to knit before next week too—i better shove along and get to it. see you in a couple of days!