out of the old rises the new

Posted on Posted in Bare Naked Wools, designing, food and garden, lace/shawls


our current weather theme is holding—days that are sunny and warm alternating with days that dip down to near freezing. the plants have been reluctantly opening their buds one by one, only to have their flowers torn to rags by the wind, which is mostly ferocious on any day.


the poor daffodils are few in number this year and i can’t help but wonder if they are getting destroyed before they’re even fully open. or maybe they are just wise enough to wait til things calm down, who knows?


the spinach and chard seeds i tossed out into the garden on monday are sprouting already—i’m excited! now if i can get david to make a spot for peas, i’ll plant those next. i should get the onions and potatoes in too—and maybe parsnips . . .

thank you for your enthusiastic response to my new hempshaugh skirt. you wanted to see it “on”, so here you go.


i even got a chance to play with making outfits


i love it with the salt & pepper top which is also knit in hempshaugh laceweight. i think i’ll be wearing this combination a LOT—it’s simple, fun, and oh-so-comfy. i haven’t had a chance to get them together yet, but i bet the skirt will look great paired with janet guthrie, too.


no sooner had i posted that i was finished, than cherie text me photos of HER finished sample, also in our hemp fingering yarn, this time in the solid millet shade.


haha, she was playing dress up too—with a merle tank that she knit last year in our hemp fingering yarn. does it make anyone else think of brigitte bardot? i recently read that bardot is the new black. of course, i read it on a t-shirt so it might not be true (but i wish i had that t-shirt).


i washed up that salt & pepper top yesterday after reknitting the neck finish, which did not turn out as loose as i wanted it—it should be loose enough to tip forward just a bit from the neck at the bottom of its U shape.

the hemp fabric is a little unruly when it is very wet. so i always start out by squeezing as much moisture as i can from the fabric and then treating it to some vigorous reshaping—quick tugs to the fabric in all directions and a few good shakes. then i lay it down and shape as best i can to the desired measurements.

as it dries, i pick it up several times to fluff and reshape and voilà—eventually it shrinks back to a uniform fabric that hangs beautifully.


even though at the last writing i thought i was over the hump, my biggest challenge this week has been my shawl project.


by mid-week i had charted myself into a corner but was still doggedly carrying on, convinced that i was on the right track. finally yesterday i came to my senses when i assessed what i had completed and did not love it. at all. sigh.

so i proceeded to scrap a substantial amount of the work i had—most of my working hours over the last two weeks, in fact. (i was actually more than halfway through that chart, grr). and even though i was enjoying the work, it wasn’t pretty—oh NO!

the good news is that i was able to salvage the first two sections i wrote and after ripping back yesterday morning, i rewrote a new section fairly quickly. sometimes, a project is just like that—kicking and squirming and hateful to me nearly all the way through and then finally, submissive at the end.


i gave myself little consolation treats every few hours over the last two days by working on a wild card design for the spring collection—one that i wasn’t sure i’d be able to squeeze in, but now looks like a reality. i showed you some swatches the other day in chebris lace, which is one yarn that it could be knit in


but then i swatched with better breakfast fingering yarn and i loved that so much that i decided to knit my sample with it instead—i just like the weight of this fabric a little better for my uses. if i went out a little more often or had a job that required dressier clothing, i would totally use the chebris; it is supremely light and elegant knit in this fabric.


side by side, both yarn work up to the same gauge (though on needles one size apart), so i’m comfortable recommending either one.


the sweater will be mostly plain stockinette with the back in the lace fabric above the waist and lace at the hem and lower sleeve. the back hem will curve downward via short row shaping though not as long as the sketch implies; probably just below the low hip in back.


after all of my shawl charts were done last night, i treated myself to starting a sleeve for the sweater while we watched TV. it is of course quite misshapen, but i think it’s going to look spectacular in the poppy seed shade of the BBF yarn.

this morning i got up and got to work on reknitting the shawl; the new charts are working out great so far. i’ve already reknit most of it and am much happier with what i have now. it won’t be long before it’ll be done i think. yay.


the weather is turning nasty out there and the temperature is dropping once again (after starting out as a really nice day!). i plan to spend a lot of time knitting this weekend so i can get these last two patterns off to tech editing. if we do get a break in the rain, i’d like to get some seeds in the ground . . ..we’ll see.

maybe before any of that, a nap. hey it’s friday after all . . .

what about you?


7 thoughts on “out of the old rises the new

  1. I need to go back and look at that Merle top again…it’s adorable with your new skirt.

    Enjoy your knittng weekend!

  2. Ohmygosh, how I love these skirts and tanks!!!! I wish I had 10 pairs of hands so I could knit faster!

  3. I absolutely love the skirt! Is there anyway you could take pictures of it on different body types? I am more of a pear shape, and so I have never knit a skirt because I fear it will look strange and I don’t want to go to all the work and not be able to wear it 🙂

  4. Oh boy, that skirt looks amazing, in both versions! And I can’t wait to see how the next sweater comes out, that sketch looks awesome.

  5. I love looking at all your swatches. Glad your garden is showing signs of life. I was outside today and have spotted irises almost ready to burst open. They weren’t there a few days ago. Nature’s a wonderful thing!

  6. I enjoyed reading about your design process, Anne.

    The skirt is great and looks so cute as a matching set.

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