the parade continues . . .

Posted on Posted in designing, projects, yarn and dyeing

actually, before we continue the yarn parade, a quick announcement—knitty surprise is up and my pattern for these cute fallberry mitts is one of the mid-issue bonus pieces (along with ann weaver’s fab oranje sweater—i WANT one, i WANT one!).

the delish pathway sport yarn in colorway roast carrots was generously contributed for this project by susan at slackford studio. susan’s got plenty in stock in this and some other enviable colors, too (there’s also a promotional code you can snag from the ad at the top of the knitty pattern page to get a 10% discount in susan’s shop). she was also kind enough to send extra yarn for a matching hat and scarf, which i’ll add to the pattern for its fall release in our own pattern shop.

we’ll just wait a sec til you check that out . . .
please also be sure to take a gander at david’s new fallberry mitts film, posted on the knitspot youTube channel.

so now . . . where were we? ah yes, YARN.
the other day, i showed you everything i brought home from TNNA, so today i’ll take you on a tour of what i brought home from my UK and upstate NY trips, and hopefully we’ll also dive into the boxes that were waiting here when i got home.

i showed you this once before, but it bears repeating—i received a terrific gift bag of yarn from buffalo gold, with a selection of items representing nearly every fiber blend they sell. really beautiful stuff, mmm.

well, first thing after alighting from the plane on wednesday morning, we were whisked off to alice’s house, where yarn was hung to dry in every corner of the socktopus studio, before going into goodie bags for retreat participants.

the weekend colorway is man of rock in sokkusu o for original, alices’s new tight twist merino sock. pictured below as well in a colorway i should know, but can’t remember, because there is no label attached. i just know it’s NOT tree frog.

on friday, we headed down to the retreat in cornwall, arriving in the late afternoon, just in time for drinks in the bar. there we sat with retreat participants, including a few yarnies who joined us for the weekend.

—yarnies with yarn in tow as a treat for the teachers. above, old maiden aunt alpaca/silk/cashmere fingering yarn, dyed by lilith (whose studio we visited in a previous post) in the irresistible pumpkin pie colorway.

sam, from yummy yarn studio came all the way from calgary in canada to attend and brought lovely yarn gifts for cookie, alice, and me. my package included a skein of merino/nylon superwash sock in colorway lego of my eggo, along with some heavenly alpaca/silk/cashmere lace in a gentle peach shade. mmmm

after the retreat, we headed back to london to repack and pick up david for our trip to scotland. as you know, we had a lovely visit in leeds on the way, where we browsed many local and micro-producers represented at baa ram ewe. i was careful to remember my limited suitcase space and didn’t buy, but regretted that later. then again, we’ll be back in the summer for knit nation and the selection could possibly be even better then.

in west kilbride we had an excellent adventure, visiting lilith’s studio and shop, where we dyed colorways of our own making. now that i’m home, i can take much better photos of my resulting yarns, dyed in deep, dark plum and navy over black.

the one on the left above is a chunky weight shetland wool and the one on the right is DK british blue-faced leicester (BFL). i am SO knitting myself a hat and mitts with these yarns to remember that day . . . isn’t the color amazing?

cookie’s yarns were equally compelling, in gray over yellow and black over red (i can’t find the photos though . . . sorry).

at loop london, the dizzying array of lovely wools and accessories almost caused a mental shutdown, when my eyes alighted on something completely different in a column of cubbies in the upstairs room.

i knew it was special the minute i laid eyes on it and immediately sent strong mind waves across the room to cookie that said “you MUST come look at this”. it’s the yummiest yarn i’ve seen in such a long time—a DK blend of british merino, angora, and cashmere, dyed on the northern tip of the isle of skye by an expat american, using natural dyestuffs.

otherwise known as shilasdair.
even the labels are original and unique to each colorway and dye blend.

my resistance broke and i fell upon this combination of hearty-wheaty gold and delicate cornsilk gold. a hap shawl in this would be incredible, wouldn’t it?
i’m kicking myself that i didn’t buy enough for a sweater, but once again . . summer is coming (and i will leave MUCH more room for yarn in my suitcase this time). i did buy two other colors to gift to friends; one deep lilac and the other a greeny-gold. cookie bought enough of a purply-maroon color for a sweater and some deep forest green/blue for a wrap she started on the spot.

i missed seeing the fingering weight downstairs, but alice found it and purchased a beautiful shade of cochineal red.

and that was about it for yarns i brought home from the UK—i was very strict, telling myself i could write about anything i wanted and link to it all from the blog—i didn’t need to buy and carry it to be of help in spreading the word.

then we got back to NY state. again,i was very, very good at restraining my own purchases, but we did receive some generous gifts

karin, from periwinkle sheep brought us each a big bag of yarn, which i had to mail home from albany. when it arrives, i’ll show you what’s in it. i was also gifted a beautiful red skein of yarn in class, from locally raised sheep that i’m excited to share and see again.

i came home to a big stack of boxes, filled with new colors and yarn blends from our favorite stateside yarnies. it was a little overwhelming at first, seeing that stack of yarn—it’s the same amount that arrives in any typical month, but seeing it all at once gave me pause. but soon, curiosity got the better of me and i had to look. so i started with the smaller packets first.

jared and i had been emailing about his beautiful new shelter yarn since the week it came out, but i hadn’t yet taken him up on his offer to send a skein for a tryout. DUH.

after shamefacedly getting back in touch with him about that, i was certainly looking forward to feeling and knitting this targhee/columbia yarn blend for myself. i asked him to pick out a color for me, since any one of the 17 options was attractive.

and he picked the perfect thing—a charcoal gray named soot (i love gray). the yarn is amazing, as promised. deep, complex color, with little bits of this and that to spice it and a soft, delicious hand—not to sound terrible, but it is much, MUCH softer than i expected form its rustic appearance. much.

i’d knit a sweater with this yarn in a heartbeat, yum.
for now though, i’ll be content to knit something that uses just the one skein—a cozy hat or mitts; something i’ll use a lot.
(and since i finished up my mink/cashmere scarf last night, i think it would be ok to cast on now)

from kollage yarns—riveting—a new offering in fingering weight cotton, made from recycled blue jeans. this skein is just one of their denim colorways, dusk denim. pretty, right?

once the small packets were opened, i was ready to tackle the bigger boxes. first up from briar rose fibers was a batch of fourth of july, intended for knitting a sample of the boy’s whitfield shorties i made at christmas.

how gorgeous is that??
wow, chris never ceases to amaze me with her colors; this striking green/blue/gray combination is different for her and i love it. just look at the light coming through that green and turquoise . . . wow.

and she is now restocked with country road, handpainted on the chunky merino laramie yarn base from mountain meadows wool.

you know—this is the one i used for david’s cabled toque; big brother to the yarn i used for my own sprout green version (pattern coming soon). talk about a great yarn—get thee some and see for yourself; i am drained of adjectives to describe it properly. let’s just say it’s good. REALLY good.

the site is also restocked with nate’s sock yarn, the baby of the squishy yummy wyoming merino family. you could knit socks with this, but really, it makes even MORE excellent mitts and neckwarmers, because of its dense, next to the skin softness. it’s favorite weight for accessory pieces, not too thin and not at all heavy.

chris is so good to me—can’t you just feel the yarn love through the screen?

the next box was from our friend kim at the woolen rabbit. this is a batch of her new grace DK yarn in scottish heather, intended for a sample knit

the yarn isn’t listed on her site yet, but it will be soon. i plan to use it to knit the production sample of david’s 2011 christmas sweater (much as we all love the handspun version, we need to show it in a yarn that anyone can buy)

he’s wearing it today, in fact; it looks so good on him.
after christmas, i sat down and made some swatches using the samples kim sent me; i hit a gauge i like on the first swatch—plus, i love the way the yarn colors play out in the pattern, nice and tweedy.

haha, but i won’t be knitting another one in his size—i actually like it so much that i’ll be knitting this one for me and writing the pattern for unisex sizing (i hope).

the remaining box was sent to me by my other good buddy, jen, from spirit trail fiberworks.

in it was a sweater’s worth of her lyra alpaca/merino/silk yarn blend, in a colorway she’s calling toadstool—isn’t it lush?? wowie and i need a brown sweater, too . . .

digging a little deeper, i was surprised to find a batch of birte DK as well—jen is too nice to me!

another rich, brown/plum colorway called fig, mmmm (me like figs). this is the same fiber blend which i enjoyed knitting so much into bel air, but in a heavier weight yarn. something a little more substantial for a dressy fall/winter cardigan, maybe . . . hmmm. it would certainly go with almost everything in my closet.

at the bottom of the box were two braids of jen’s targhee top, dyed in colorway caledonian pines. breathtaking, really. as if that wasn’t enough, jen is having a big sale right now—40% of of many discontinued or less-than-perfect batches of fiber and yarn.

that’s it—i’m gonna need to take a year off to catch up with these dyers. next time, i have a couple or three books to tell you about and we’ll get the news on knitting progress (i finished my mink scarf and the inky dinky sweater)

tomorrow is another busy day; hopefully my last day of being behind on desk and paperwork. then i can get going on patterns, yay. see you on the other side . . .

37 thoughts on “the parade continues . . .

  1. Anne,

    Thank you for always posting such lovely pictures. I have not been able to knit in a few months because I am taking education certification classes while teaching five grades. There is simply not enough time in the day (although I worked hard last week and got all of my projects done for this term…two weeks ahead of time…so I’m about to cast on a baby blanket).

    Looking at your pictures of yarn, projects, and other knitting gurus makes me feel like I am still able to indulge in this much-loved passion of mine.

  2. Isn’t Shilasdair yarn fabulous? We went there when we were in Scotland, and talk about an amazing place!! I just wish I hadn’t had what felt like eighty million family members waiting for me to make a choice and leave. Sigh…

    I am loving that Scottish Heather yarn – it’s going to look absolutely fabulous in that sweater!! Very very nice…

  3. Hi Anne, I’m a loooing-time blog stalker and just had to tell you how gorgeous I think *all* of your patterns are, and these mitts are another spectacular home run. I just cast on for a pair of cabled mitts yesterday and now have to ponder over whether I’ll finish them or cast right on for these!!
    And what a gorgeous parade of yarn. Thanks for ssinf what you do with your design work and your blogging. I’m a huge fan!!

  4. I LOVE all that yarn. What a gorgeous parade! Where on earth will you start – so much choice! I’ll have to look into the Shilasdair yarn when I get to Loop 🙂

    And I’m so, so pleased you’re going to be writing a pattern for David’s sweater. It’s exactly what I want to knit for my other half!

  5. Wonderful mitts as always. You are incredible! I can’t wait for the hat and scarf. David’s sweater is beautiful. I want that pattern too.Love Briar Rose and the Woolen Rabbit. Thanks for the introduction to some other new yarns too. I want to see what you do with the Riveting. I worry about yarns with little natural spring.

  6. OMG, between the yarn and the sweater and the mitts . . . What a lovely post! Can’t wait for the patterns . . . not that I’m lacking in WIPs or anything . . .

  7. all those lovely yarns! you’ve reminded me that i really need to pull some of my briar rose out for a project, her yarns are always so lovely to work with. i’ve had my eye on shelter for a sweater project, but i have so much yarn for sweaters already, and i’m so slow about getting them finished, that i’ve not actually bought any….yet…maybe if i clear another 8 or 10 projects off the list first! (hmmm…i have a sweater started in briar rose…maybe that should be the project i pull out!)

  8. I love Targhee soooooo much. It looks as soft as it feels, almost every single time. I admit I’ve been torn between wanting to order some of Shelter and not, because it does look so very rustic and I worry it’ll be too stiff! But I’ll take your word for it. I haven’t worked with Columbia wool at all, which is another reason I hesitated, I wasn’t sure if that was what makes it look so stiff! But, Targheeeeeeee /sqwunch

  9. Oh wow!!! LOVE the colours of the Briar Rose yarn. Gorgeous! The greeny yarn you have isn’t Tree Frog, and it isn’t Granooey…. I think the poor lamb is nameless. Maybe Spriteling?

  10. My goodness…what a lovely way to start my day! I can only imagine how that yarny goodness makes your day 😉

  11. Yarn overload! My head is swimming and I just *looked* at the yarn, on a screen – can’t imagine the sensual overload from actually holding the yarn!

    I look forward to seeing that yummy mink scarf. And yes, yes! Make David’s Christmas sweater in unisex sizing!

  12. It’s a first! I showed the picture of David’s sweater to my husband and it was deemed “plain” enough for him to actually wear, despite it being plenty “interesting” enough for me to actually knit! Did you ever have any idea your talents would be mending relationships far and wide? ;~D Can’t wait for the pattern release!

  13. That yarn from Kim is gorgeous!! I was just thinking that I should knit myself a pullover now that I’ve finally finished my Highlander. So I’ll be watching for the Unisex David Sweater pattern and saving for the yarn purchase.

    You are so lucky – so much beautiful wool! What a haul. I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on Shelter. Everyone is so into softness, but then so many soft yarns pill, which I hate. So a less soft non-pilling yarn is fine with me, even if I pay more for it.

  14. Roasted carrots, figs, pumpkin pie–mmmmmm!! I, too caved immediately and got a skein of the roast carrot yarn.
    Killing me with all these goodies–that Shilasdair and the Grace DK….need more pairs of hands like a Hindu goddess.

  15. It’s a good job I like you, or we might just have to have a yarn duel (knitting needles at dawn!) for some of that yarn. My, oh my! Where to start? You have some wonderful yarny memories of your travels. I spotted the Shilasdair when I was in Loop too. It feels delicious!

  16. I love your Fallberry Mitts… the bright orange is great. All of the yarn is amazing- how am I supposed to read this blog post without driving to my LYS and picking up 10 skeins of yarn?!

  17. Holy Hannah, that’s a lot of yarn!! And all 100% yum! I LOVE the new mitts. Heading to Knitty now to print and cast on!

  18. Anne, thank you for the nice treat of a free pattern on knitty. Headed for my stash to look for the perfect yarn!!

  19. What a sweet little video! It has totally made my day.
    The colors, the perspective, the small musical toy… so perfect.

  20. whoa so many gorgeous yarns. you will adore knitting with the birte from spirit trail. mmmm what to buy???

  21. Thank you so much for publishing your blog. I totally enjoy spending time looking at the wonderful yarns and the projects that you complete with them. Love the mink/cashmere infinity scarf. Can’t wait for the pattern to be published.

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