and of course, there was yarn . . .

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, projects, yarn and dyeing

i know the tales of my trip focused mostly on the incredible scenery, but traveling through the UK and the eastern USA was not without its yarny attractions. we saw so much awesome fiber—some that we didn’t buy and wished later we had (but we’re going back for knit nation in july; we can shop then, right??).

anyway . . . as good as i was about remembering my limited packing space,
i still came home with i still sent david home with lots of yarn. and when i got back, a prodigious stack of yarn boxes from stateside yarnies had arrived during the four weeks i was gone (wow, was it really that long?? it totally flew by).

remember this? well, i finally tackled the other day. with relish, even—i knew it would be packed with all manner of wooly goodness. and now i have it all photographed so i can share it with you.

but first, maybe some sustenance?

have i mentioned how very happy i am to be home, eating familiar foods?
eggs fixed with greens from the garden are my favorite lunch; the greens from the freezer are quite nearly as good as fresh-picked—and WAY better than fresh store-bought ones, any time the time of year (but soon, very soon, we shall have new ones growing outside the back door—this weekend, i’m ordering seeds for spring planting, YAY).

nathalie and i had a funny conversation about how we like our eggs cooked, following a lecture from john about how they should be cooked. we can’t help it, we like our eggs well-done . . . with a browned bottom if possible. how gauche are we? for the record nat, david and i are in constant disagreement about this, too. but if that’s the extent of our disagreements, i think we’re doing ok in life, haha.

more sustenance for yarn gazing—phoebe sent me a lovely birthday package with yarn and goodies, including these black cherry licorice hearts, complete with a great story on the back of the package—quite different and yummy.

ahem . . back to the yarns—i know you’re anxious to see the parade.

let’s look at the yarn phoebe sent first—it’s super-special and i’m so touched by her gift i could cry . . .

this is phoebe’s handspun singles in spunky eclectic wensleydale, colorway electric cold front. isn’t it lovely? and there’s enough here to make a nice accessory piece; i’ll have to dream up something special for it. thank you phoebe; it’s a treasure . . .

we have a lotta yarn to look at; in fact, this could very well turn into two separate posts—one from the pre-trip period and one post-trip wrap up. so you might want loosen some clothing and get very comfortable.
just sayin’ . . .

one thing i realized when i was putting together this post is that i never really showed you the yarns i looked at and sampled during TNNA in january—because i was saving all this for a special announcement moment.

the show floor was pretty quiet throughout the weekend and exhibitors were keenly interested in the designers roaming the aisles—yarn was pressed on us from every direction, in fact, and vendors were much more open to discussion about collaborative efforts.

which was good, because we are in the midst of planning a new venture—a fall projects club with signups to open in late spring. so i was, i part, shopping the show to get ideas and information about yarns i might include in the club kits.

i KNOW! it’s exciting, right??

ok, before you rush ahead and click the comment button, you could help us immensely by participating in the poll we prepared for this very moment—see, we’re terribly excited about the club idea, but feeling very inexperienced, so we’d like to take the temperature of the crowd and get some idea of numbers. so please, help us out by taking the survey below

thanks so much; getting a grip on what kind of numbers we might be looking at is incredibly helpful to our planning and is sure to be reflected in a quality club experience.

what i’m thinking about is how much fun we have every year during the rampup to the holidays—i make sure to have a bevy of small project patterns prepared to release in the pattern shop and we all go crazy playing with yarns and churning out knits for gifting. so i though it would be fun to turn some of that energy into a club, where participants could share the love, form KALs, support each other in the race to the finish, and most of all, have an assurance of acquiring the same sample yarns i’ve used for my own projects. we would still offer holiday project patterns in the shop, but this would be a pre-packaged assortment of special deliveries for those who enjoy that format. the final shipment would be a special one, arriving after the holidays with a knitting treat to keep for oneself.

with all that in mind, i’ll be preparing designs for six quick, fun, delicious accessory projects in yummy artisan yarns, great for gifting or keeping. we plan to make it as VAT-friendly as possible, so that overseas participation is not limited. projects would span a variety of yarn weights and fabric types. patterns and/or yarn will be exclusive for a limited period of time.

OK, NOW we can look at yarn, hahaha. keep in mind that the following are simply some of the possibilities for club yarns, not in any way a definitive list. i still haven’t finalized anything, but i’m getting there . . .

TNNA was full of tempting options, many of them from artisinal producers who are now able to supply in wholesale quantities.

pico accuardi dyeworks was showing a wide variety of luxurious fiber blends in naturally dyed nearly-solid and variegated colorways. they have one of the softest kid mohair/silk blend yarns i’ve ever touched.

two of my most favorite fiberistas, karen and valerie from mountain meadow wool, showed that their young enterprise is growing with a booth decked out in a plentiful array of dyed and undyed yarns from their mill in wyoming. they have several new offerings, including a merino/bison blend (far left, above) that is squishy heaven.

alisha goes around made a huge impression at the january trade show with her wide selection of yarn bases and colorways—shops were quite challenged to narrow down their choices with so much to choose form here. as you can see, alisha’s colorways are wonderfully vibrant and she has gone to some lengths to acquire bases that are off the beaten track. she loaded us down with sample skeins, but i think my favorite is that one at the top, glint of goldfish lace.

the fibre company continues to produce yarns i fall in love with and this savannah, a wool/cotton/linen/soy blend, is a winner, i think. it’s got a rugged, rustic look but a wonderfully soft hand and will make a cushy something or other that could appeal to a guy or a woman—what’s not to love?? (kate and courtney also wrote a book recently, which i’ll talk about in another post; it’s lovely)

beth at lorna’s laces handed me this delicious skein of pearl bamboo/silk in an aMAZing new deep purple colorway called kerfuffle. i just know you purple fans are already googling where to buy it . . .

what a show, right?
i have a lot of work to do in order to get the choices narrowed down and correctly matched with projects. david and his posse of helpers will be figuring out the most efficient way to do signups and fulfillment (it takes a village). but we’re all excited and that’s the first step to success.

i have WAY more yarn to show you, but i think i’ll save it for tomorrow—and i promise this time, i won’t get sidetracked with the business of clubbing or anything like that. it’ll be all yarn, the whole way through.

what i do have to show you today is knitting progress—wanna see?

have i mentioned just how much i love this new mink/cashmere scarf? i mean, i liked this deep forest green yarn when it arrived, but i was still drooling over the apple green that i used for the first draft of the scarf and i’m afraid i did not give the darker color its due. however, now that i’ve got some luxurious length going on and had a chance to bond with this one, it’s my new favorite too. it’s just sooo elegant, isn’t it??.

i removed the cast on from the starting end so i could graft it later into an infinity scarf. cookie and i decided that i should definitely offer that option in the pattern and now i’ll have one of each. and the pattern is coming, i promise. i did not get any pattern work done on my trip but now that i’m home, it’s moving along. it’s worth the wait though; i wore my apple green scarf and hat every day and they kept me snuggly warm in some pretty damp cold.

one thing i finished on the road was my own cabled toque (just like david’s, only green). today i unearthed it from my suitcase and put it on to soak in the sink. i was worried that it seemed tight on me, but it’s drying now and it appears to have relaxed out enough to be a great fit after all. this is knit in the mountain meadow wool i mentioned earlier. jackson is their new DK weight, a super-squishy elastic merino 2-ply yarn from the wyoming, in colorway sprout (i LOVE it), part of the artisan dyed series.

i’m also almost done with my inky dinky jacket—i’ve been working on it while i watch TV with david at night. i was a bit chagrined last night to find i had to rip back about sixteen rows because i didn’t process the instructions properly—THE INSTRUCTIONS I WROTE, ahem—i read them well enough, but then did the wrong thing anyway, haha (oh, how i do amuse myself). fortunately, the rows are short and i recovered quickly. but i would have been well into the collar now if i had done it right in the first place.

the big news is really about david’s knitting

look how beautiful it is—he’s really going to town with it now. he’s got some clever learning aids he’s using, too. the other night he needed me to fix a dropped stitch and he video-taped my instructions and demo on his iPhone. a little while later, i saw him using it as a guide to fix a stitch on his own. i like that in a knitter, don’t you??

you know, lots of learners say that they do better when someone shows them what to do, but rarely does a student make a record to help increase their autonomy from the teacher. but it’s a good tactic, because working independently makes one more resourceful and more likely to retain what is learned. it also provides an opportunity to experience pride in one’s work strategies, which is crucial positive reinforcement for long-term success.

isn’t the surface of the fabric lovely? it’s a very lightweight, airy piece, despite its rustic appearance.

david is now able to knit while watching TV and in public places—that is, he’s able to knit amid larger distractions. i have a funny david story about that though . . . .

we were on the phone after he got home and i asked if he had knit during his trip. he said no, because he had dropped some stitches and discovered a hole after an inch or two of knitting further; he would need me to fix them. when i asked how he dropped the stitches, he said, “while i was waiting for my flight at heathrow, i was interrupted suddenly and a bunch of stitches fell off the needle; i couldn’t get them put back on the right way, so i just kept going.”

i asked what startled him so that he actually dropped stitches, he paused for a sec, then said dryly, “someone who had never seen a man knitting before”

you have to imagine the quiet, matter-of-fact way that david talks; he’s not a very emotional speaker. yet, i could practically hear the eye roll in his voice. i nearly busted a gut laughing. it turned out though, that this woman was a knitter herself and had actually lived very close to our town in ohio at one time . . . “a very pleasant conversation ensued—she was interesting, actually”.

he cracks me up.

ok, i’m going to stop this post here so that i have some daylight hours left to get outside and take a walk or a bike ride. the rest of the yarn is forthcoming—look for it tomorrow or sunday and have a great weekend.

37 thoughts on “and of course, there was yarn . . .

  1. That was a great story about David..I love the yarn he is using. Looking forward to possibility of the yarn club for the holidays. That would be the kick start I need! We are putting our cold frame togethere this weekend and hopefully get some seeds sown soon.

  2. I think I can see/hear the eye roll by the way you tell the tale! I can just imagine the scenario and I am sure the lady was struck by David’s quiet charm.
    How exciting about the yarn club and even though I should go for a pattern only option (if there is one) after viewing some of the possibilities, I will be very hard-pressed to resist joining for pattern AND yarn…..enabler. My stash room likes you already! And we just won’t tell the husband…

    Cheers, Barbie O.

  3. I would love to join a club and receive a new project every two months. I hope it happens and that you will ship to Canada.

  4. Wonderful pcs. I applaud David for his knitting abilities. Glad you and David arrived safely. Can’t wait to see your garden selections! I am already drooling.

  5. I love the idea of a knit club for the holiday’s. It would be great if there was some kind of forum that was available to ask questions if we got stuck on a pattern.

  6. A club from you sounds great! But, I would like to see yarn that is not hand painted (like Great Northern) at least semi solid. I’m done with variegated.

  7. Of course the David story had me laughing out loud. ALMOST as good as the ‘fond of confectionaries” story. . . . . Tell him his knitting looks fabulous!!!

  8. Anne, I’m hoping you can answer a question. I am desperately in love with your cabled scarf (both the forest and apple green versions), and hope to cast on just as soon as you release the pattern. BUT – I’ll be at the Stitches West market this weekend, and it would be great to be able to shop for yarn for the scarf there (as opposed to online) while I have the opportunity to fondle a huge variety of yarns. But the question is – how much yarn to buy! So….. can you help me out? What’s the estimated yardage for that thing??? Many thanks!

  9. Anne!! Your idea of a club is so exciting. I think I have most of your patterns as it is and so many that I’ve done have been wonderful. People have stopped me to comment and that makes me so proud. Just let me know or I could send a signed blank check! Lol!

  10. I think a knitspot club would be lots of fun. There are very few patterns you post that I don’t want to knit! One of the survey choices was unisex/female patterns, but I vote for more manly socks too! 🙂

  11. I’ll skip the gushing about the club idea, and just go with ‘fabulous’. Now, about those eggs. Technically, if they move they are undercooked, per the USDA and virtually every state health department. Of course, each person is free to eat their food the way they like to fix it, but take no flak about fully cooked eggs which do not require a disclaimer on a menu. Just saying… I like mine fully cooked, too.

  12. I love your projects. I have two patterns that I hope to start soon. But I can hardly wait to see what David’s project will look like. It is great that he met an actual knitter in the wild.

  13. I hoped but never dreamed you would have a Knitspot Yarn Project Club. It would be an honor to be a member.
    So good to have you home!!

  14. Ha! I’m with David. Eggs should be cooked slow – with low heat – until just tender. This way, they taste cheesy and rich without any added goop. Delicious! Yuck. NO NO NO to browned, overcooked eggs. Sorry, Anne.

    I LOVE the idea of a kit club! I would be willing. Budget is the issue for me, but I’m willing to take the plunge. This sounds exciting. Sign me up!

  15. PS. After one of your recent posts, I bought fresh broccoli and sauteed them with garlic (something I’ve never done because I hate vegetables!!!) I ate them! And my children ate them and my husband looked at me like I’ve lost my mind. DELISH! No more steamed soggy disgusting frozen broccoli bits for me. Thanks for inspiring me – yet again.


  16. Oh, I love that anecdote about David and the knitter at the airport! That made me laugh.

    I don’t think I’ve mentioned previously, but I’m really liking your mink/cashmere hat/scarf set. The yarn looks absolutely delicious, and those cables! I may have to save my pennies for some of that yarn….

  17. I don’t do Christmas knitting, too much stress takes the fun of knitting away for me, but I still LOVE the idea of a club 🙂 Promise there will be a lace shawl or two in there?

  18. Your egg/greens lunch looks soooooooo good. And just for the record, I like my eggs cooked perfectly (the way John makes them) but I’m also just as happy when I make them myself, which inevitably means a bit crispy!

    I think we’ll be ordering our seeds this weekend, too — some snow melted and I can almost see what will one day be our garden again. Aaaaaah, spring can’t come quickly enough.

  19. I add my compliments to David’s lovely knitting to all the rest. I’d like to know what yarn he’s using. It’s got a lovely texture to it.

  20. The yarn that David is using is gorgeous! I might have missed it in one of your other posts (I went back to look but couldn’t find it)…what kind is it? Is it something we can purchase or is it one of your handspuns?

  21. Wow! A knitspot club!!!!!! One of my knit buddies and I have challenged each other to try to make one Christmas gift per month this year, all through the year, and this would be perfect! (As though I will be able to part with any of that Knitspot goodness and give it away as gifts!) Are you going to include only one pattern in each package, or will there be a little bit of knitter’s choice? David’s knitting is amazing—in my experience, anyone attracts a certain amount of attention when knitting in public, especially from other knitters. We are lucky to have such a great community.

  22. I’m with David and John on the eggs-I’m funny about them. One day I can eat 2 with no problem, and another day I can’t get through a whole one. That’s when I say I’ve ‘hit my egg limit’. I have no idea why that is.

    The yarns look fantastic–so much inspiration. Love the story about David! Oh-I have to go get my hamburger buns in the oven to bake! Happy weekend!

  23. I frequently lament that the Irishman’s only failing as a partner is his distaste for beef. He replies that if that’s the case, he must be doing something right.

    Also, I got a giggle fit from your David story–he must have known it would be great blog fodder!

  24. Ha! Love the story of David at the airport. I can not tell you how many times I’ve had the whole “never seen a man knitting” thing before and it is almost always at an airport. Of course knitting is just about the only thing that makes airports bearable these days.

  25. I’ll just jump to David’s knitting – his project is beautiful! I love the yarn – a nice natural looking yarn. Great job! I can’t wait to see the finished item.

    I’m trying to encourage my BF to learn – he tried to crochet and seemed to be a natural. There is one guy at our local yarn store knit night.

    The other yarn show is nice and the club sounds very interesting!

  26. yay for the club anne. fabulous idea. and of course the photos are exquisite. just not enough hours in the day…

  27. I have fallen madly in love with the mink/cashmere scarf and want to cast on as soon as possible. How many skeins did you use. I ordered 2 and now I am worried that it will not be enough. I know I should just wait but I am Mrs. Impatient I am a big fan of yours and knitted longjohns for my family for xmas and next year will be cinder block. Thank you so much for your knitting inspirations Katie

  28. Good for David for recording your demo of fixing a dropped stitch and using it again! I teach knitting and crochet at Green Planet Yarn in Campbell, CA, and I recommend certain YouTube videos regularly, so people have someone to show them a technique again when I’m not there.

  29. A Knitspot yarn club would be just wonderful. More yarn pics too! Just catching up with your posts after a weekend away spinning. Nothing better than eating something simple, homecooked (and maybe homegrown) after a weekend of delicious pampering! I’m seriously impressed with David’s knitting, and will show it to Mr JK when he’s in the right mood!!

  30. Hah! I love that that was only PART of the yarn pron post, hehehe. Really looking forward to your club, that’s such a fantastic development!

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