neck and neck

Posted on Posted in Bare Naked Wools, book reviews/events, designing, lace/shawls


in between preparing for the pairings club and the fall/winter ensemble, we’ve had an exciting summer project going here at knitspot HQ—we’re producing a book of all-new lace scarf designs.

this project is actually several years in the making—i started working on a slightly different version in 2010, which was going to be part compendium of existing patterns with some new designs added and a lot of text.

but i had to put that project aside for sheer lack of manpower; david and i were still doing everything ourselves at the time. earlier this year i noticed a big trend toward the old lace scarf patterns in our sales and i thought it would be a good time to dust off that project and get moving on making it a reality.

i decided to forego the idea of compiling older pattern into the book and make it all new designs, keeping it to a number that was manageable for a fairly short production timeline.


we are able to use some of the samples from the previous conception of this project; the designs that were new have still not been published. those are mostly knit in hand-dyed selections from artist collaborators i’ve worked with over the last decade.


but in the years between, we have started producing our own yarns, so each design will now be represented in both hand-dyed version as well as one of our bare naked wools selections.


a couple of designs will be interpreted in several shapes—such as this pair, which share a stitch pattern but are produced by different constructions.


there were just a couple of designs that i wanted to see in varying formats; it’s not necessarily right for all the designs and i didn’t want to bring that level of pressure to the project.

the set of swatches above was knit for a series of three separate designs, all using the same stitch pattern, but in different types of yarn.


this book is really about the spirit of the little nothings first and foremost—fun, simple constructions that are more or less an extended swatch, but also happen to be incredibly pretty. the design process is subject to my whims and interest at the moment; it’s very much off the cuff. some pieces beg me for more interpretation and some don’t.

we know from watching hundreds of knitters work with the existing patterns that they offer a lot of freedom to put one’s own stamp on the design or to expand it into an interesting variation.

and we also know that there are lots and LOTS of knitters who, at the end of the day, just want someone else to do the math so they can enjoy the knitting.


the book will include general information about substituting yarns into the patterns, scarves into cowls or stoles, working with different fiber types, and blocking. to get you started, we’ll provide examples of how we changed the size of a sample or substituted yarn to create an alternate look.


please excuse the fact that some of these samples still need to be blocked—i plan to have a couple of big blocking days in a week or two, shortly before we photograph everything so they all look freshly primped.


as i mentioned earlier, the original project was put on the back burner due to lack of manpower for production. but back then as well as now, we had SO much support and help in one area and that was the test and sample knitting. thanks to our super-supportive ravelry mothership group, we’ve gathered a crack team of knitters who have produced the beautiful pieces you see here.

i want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for making this all-new set of samples possible. more about them individually in the book!


for now, take a minute to go over and browse the little nothings knitting thread; you will be treated not only to additional photos of samples in progress, but to discussion about the yarns we’ve used.

and of course, they can’t do anything without a healthy injection of funny chit-chat, so i highly recommend it at the start of your day.

i myself got totally sucked in when my swatch for one of the designs took on a life of its own to become and actual sample.

one minute i was knitting a small triangular test piece and seemingly in the next moment i was casting off a scarf—how did that happen?

with all of the patterns done now and the sample knitting nearly complete, i am putting together the “general guidelines” pages. with three weekends of travel in a row and the next installment of the club to go out in two weeks, i’m a little nervous about finishing everything but hoping that the rest of the knitspot team can handle the photography and other details without me.


and still trying to figure out how to shoehorn the new tencel blend into the script—hopefully we can!

are you excited? i think it’s going to be lots of fun going into the holidays to have a whole new collection, where you can share your projects and yarn choices and enjoy the company. because not everyone is a sweater knitter, right? and we are very very glad there are all kinds.


so keep your eyes on the blog, our rav group, and our newsletter these next few weeks—we will share progress as things pull together. it won’t be long!

13 thoughts on “neck and neck

  1. Ooh, ooh, how fun to see the samples coming together, both in the natural BNW bases and the special colorway. I’m so excited to see the finished book!

  2. I’m so excited for this collection! The first lace project I ever did (and my first Knitspot pattern too) was Fiddlehead, and the clearly-written pattern made it so much easier. And then I was hooked!

    Thanks again for the opportunity to create a sample for this new collection – I can’t wait to see the rest of the designs!

  3. Count me among those excited to see this new collection. These smaller projects add variety to my WIPs, make great gifts and provide excellent opportunities to try out all your BNW yarns in smaller quantities before ordering SQs. Can’t wait!

  4. I love your “little nothings” – in fact, one of my very first lace projects was Rivolo. Can’t wait for the book!

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