Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Thrill of It All

Every once in a while I find myself giving in to the pull of a new knitting project.  I can have several projects in the works - everything from a sweater to socks - but without giving it a second thought, I put those projects aside and cast on something new.

The other day I had a few minutes to spare and decided to give Ravelry a glance.  Just a few minutes . . . surely there was no harm in that.  I bounced around to several projects and landed on the project page for That Nice Stitch.  I loved the texture in this cowl and then I read the project notes.  Susan Ashcroft had designed this cowl for her mother.  How sweet.

I couldn't resist.

I went to my pile of random balls of yarn.

I made my selection, and I was off and running.

The thrill of a new project never gets old.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Connecticut Recap

I'm off and running this Monday morning after a lovely Saturday in Connecticut.  I have several pressing deadlines in the next few days (why are they always clustered together?), so this post will be brief.

Saturday got off to a chilly start.  I should have noticed the frost alert warning on my phone, but I was too busy with booth details to pay attention.  

The bright sunshine was enough to make me forget about the temperature.

Sheryl from Spin-a-Bit had some lovely batts.  I was tempted.  If you want to see for yourself, she'll be at Maryland Sheep and Wool this coming weekend.

People often ask if I have my own sheep.  No, but I think I could manage this kind.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by my booth.  It was a pleasure to chat about yarn, projects and colorways.

We're getting ready to wrap up another month, and that means it's time for the April giveaway.  Leave a comment and include your Ravelry ID. What are you knitting these days?  Is there an interesting pattern that's captured your attention?  Are there any spring fiber events on your calendar?

The winner, chosen at random, will receive a skein of Dirty Water DyeWorks yarn - winner's choice.  The contest closes on Sunday, May 3, 2015.

Friday, April 24, 2015


No matter how organized I am, I always have last-minute work before a show.  This time freshly dyed yarn is waiting for labels.

Today's work pile.

I'm off to grab the tape dispenser and get busy, but here's a quick peek at some of the new colorways I'm introducing this weekend. 

This week's color inspiration comes from a pheasant at Mount Hope Farm.  Compared to the brown and tan variety, this one is brilliant.

A rainbow of color.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

While the Pots Simmer . . .

This is a busy time of year.  For me that translates into a lot of dyeing. In between the measuring, mixing and soaking, I manage to knit a few rounds.  It doesn't seem like a lot of knitting time, but it all adds up.

Yesterday I made progress on the leg of this sock - Flaming Desire . Who knows what today will bring.  Maybe I'll work my way through the heel and down the foot.  Just a few rounds here and there . . . 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Marathon Monday

It's Marathon Monday.  My family is in holiday mode and going in different directions while I'm fighting an uphill battle to get any work done.  My work schedule is tight, and I'm sure taking a day off would bite me hard later in the week.  My daughter is hanging out at the finish line and having fun, but I'm resolved to stick with my schedule.

Yesterday I had a beautiful time in Rhode Island at the Great Rhody Yarn Crawl market . . . such a dynamic, inspiring, creative group of fiber people.

Our spring weather has been slow to come this year, but yesterday was a beautiful day.  The market was held in a restored barn at Mount Hope Farm.  Here's a glimpse.

In case you're wondering what this is, it's an outside weaving project.

Get a load of these pants.  Cambria knit these with leftover Cascade 220.  You can find details on her Ravelry project page.  It took her about a week to crank these out, and she's tall.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by yesterday.  It's always encouraging to share ideas and inspiration.

And now it's time to get to work.  Holiday or not, I have my own marathon to attend to . . . a dyeing marathon.

Friday, April 17, 2015

More Stripes

I have a soft spot for stripes.  They are playful, fun and cheery.  When it comes to knitting, stripes keep a project interesting.  I've knit my fair share of striped projects - Catkin, Zephyr Cove, Itineris - so it was easy for me to fall for another set of stripes.

In the Moment.  The only problem?  This project is interfering with the rest of my work.  Just one more stripe . . . 

Earlier this week a friend shared some flowers with me, and I still need to plant them.  They are bright and lively . . . my color inspiration for the week.

Vivid pansies.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Weekend Preview

It's Wednesday, and I have my eye on the weekend.  This is what's in store.

The Great Rhody Yarn Crawl is happening, and things are heating up. This year over a dozen yarn shops are participating in the crawl.  On Sunday there's a marketplace to wrap up the weekend, and I'll be on hand. Organizers are collecting food donations at the market with contributions going to the East Bay Food Pantry.

To add to the fun and excitement, the festivities now include a treasure hunt.  Follow the link for details.  I try not to get caught up in the long range weather forecast, but it looks like we have a decent weekend on tap.  This is a great opportunity to get out and support the local Rhode Island shops after a long and difficult winter.

If you have a few minutes to spare, check out this video on the workings of an Irish woolen mill.


Monday, April 13, 2015


I'm due to start a new knitting project, so the other day I spent some time bouncing around Ravelry.  I searched and came away with a handful of options but nothing that compelled me to drop everything and cast on.  Sometimes it helps to take a break, so I walked away from the computer and went back to it later in the day. 

At the end of the day, I still didn't have a clear vision of my next project.  How can that be?  Ravelry is full of possibilities.   Maybe I needed to adjust my search filters.  Maybe there were too many options.  Maybe I was distracted with other work projects.  I've decided the whole process needs to marinate another day or two.

So over the weekend my knitting time was spent with Gaenor.

It felt like spring this weekend, so I took my knitting outside and got some fresh air.  It was time well spent.  I have to weigh my ball of yarn, but I think I'm almost ready to start the decrease section.  For now, a new project can wait.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fishbone Gansey Sock

I have another pair of socks ready for action.

Fishbone Gansey Sock.

This design features simple ribbing with a gansey motif at the top of the leg.

It's a nice mix . . . a little bit of pattern and texture followed with 3x1 ribbing.   

The yarn is Lucia, a blend of Superwash Merino and Nylon.  The Imperial colorway is a Yarn Knot exclusive that might be released at a later date.

It's another raw, wet day - perfect for a new pair of socks.

Since we don't have too much green outside, I took matters into my own hands and tried to create some inside.  This week's color inspiration . . . 

Blooming branches.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sticking with the Plan

My teenage son and daughter are on a health and fitness kick.  They work out at the gym every day, follow a strict diet, weigh food, calculate carbs and protein.  When they started this last fall, it was all very casual - run a few miles, cut back on junk food.  Now they constantly discuss food groups, exercise routines and gym equipment. It's been interesting to watch this process evolve, and now they are committed to a daily regimen.  They came up with a plan and are following it.

My own plan is much more modest, but I'm going to stick with it.  I have to finish at least one knitting project before I can start another one.

This is the second sock, and I'm almost to the foot.  I can do this.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Weight of It All

If you had something to celebrate this past weekend, I hope you enjoyed your festivities.  For once our annual springtime celebration didn't include dyeing eggs or making felted eggs.  Instead we managed to cobble together a couple meals that accommodated all the various work schedules and involved consuming a lot of chocolate.

My weekend knitting included this lovely project.

Gaenor.  This is the latest Yarn Knot installment.  I like to mix things up with new and interesting yarn bases, so for this round we're testing a blend of alpaca, silk and cashmere.  It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.

I'm enjoying the pattern.  It's mostly garter . . . a relaxing knit.  The interesting thing is this shawl is worked from side to side.  Start at one side and increase until you've used half your yarn, work the other side and decrease to the end.  It's a great way to make sure you use all your yarn.  

I've been working along but didn't weigh my yarn until this morning. The result?  I still have a ways to go before I can start decreasing. Sometimes center pull balls can be so deceiving.  

This is just another reminder that I prefer to have a hard and fast number of rows to work.  Knitting until I reach a certain number of grams seems so elusive.  Somehow it's not as defined in my mind.  I could calculate how much yarn one pattern repeat uses, but since I'm increasing the number of stitches, the rows don't use the same amount of yarn.  

There's only one solution.  I need to make a mental adjustment and work until I reach that magic number on the scale.  I have some bonus knitting time later today, and I'm going to make that ball a little bit lighter.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Since It's April . . .

The seasons are slowly shifting.  The change has been so slow that the snow last weekend didn't surprise me, and I wouldn't be shocked to see more white flakes in the coming days.  But it is April, and that should be reason enough to at least think about spring.

For a while I've been saying I need new fingerless mitts.  All of mine have either been lost or have found new homes with other family members.  Now we're between seasons, and it's still a little chilly but not outright cold. 

I definitely need those mitts, so I started Longing - as in longing for spring.  These mitts have a little spiral pattern - easy to memorize and just enough action to entertain.  The yarn is Lillian, colorway Drizzle. It seemed appropriate for the season.

This week's color inspiration is also in the blue family.

Blue with a twist of green.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Decent lighting and a live model . . . everything came together for a few photos of Spectral.



This was an entertaining project.  The color changes kept it interesting, and the 4-round repeat wasn't too taxing.  

Spectral was a good on-the-go project.

I read the Ravelry notes for this cowl, and several people commented that the edges rolled.

Someone suggested a garter stitch edge, and I opted for that.  The edges still roll a bit, but it doesn't bother me.  

The yarn is one of the new gradient bundles - Lucia in Grays.  I've had so many requests for the bundles that I'm making it a priority to list them on the website.  Coming soon . . . 

My daughter commented on this cowl when I was knitting it.  She loves anything in the gray to black family.  I'm lucky she didn't walk off with it after the photo shoot.  

Thanks for all the comments for the giveaway.  It sounds like everyone is ready for spring weather.  I admire people who knit for warmer weather and actually finish things.  I can relate to the comment from twotone, "I do have a spring top that I've been working on for a few years now . . . maybe this will be the year that I finally finish it?!"

Congratulations to poohtum, the winner of the March giveaway.  Be sure to check in with the blog.  There will be another giveaway round at the end of April.