Lady Bertram Shawlette

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Thank you Wendy!  I loved knitting Lady Bertram.  This is the second of Wendy Johnson's shawl patterns that I have knit.  One right after the other.  Both were quick to knit from fingering wt. yarns, fun and easy.  They'd be great gifts.  I carried them to meetings with me and worked on them through my favorite TV shows. 

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I was excited when I saw that Wendy, the first knit blogger I ever read, was writing shawl patterns.  I've admired her work for years.  If you didn't read her blog back in her fair isle days, let me tell you that she was definitely the 'Queen of Steek'.  Such courage.  I could hardly wait to read her entries every morning. 

Miss BertramRaveled here and her sister shawlette, Miss Woodhouse, will accompany me to the CT Sheep & Wool Festival this Saturday.  She'll be representing Ball and Skein's Sophia, not on the website yet.  All of the newer yarn bases will be offered at the shows only until the end of May.  I think I need two of me.  I've been going non-stop for a couple months now and there is still much to do.  So much for that.. coffee, coffee, wine and listening to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (I never thought I would admit to enjoying it SO much), while I work.  But honestly... it is an awful lot of fun!


Hurry up, slow down

Labor Day Weekend.   It is hard to believe.  The summer was so cold and wet, that the past two beautiful weeks feel more like the beginning of the season than the end.  The end it is.  Migrating species are on the move.  As Laurie mentioned yesterday in her comment,  the male hummers are gone.  Each evening I walk to the field to count the night’s Canada Geese stopovers.  The energy level has upped a notch.  It is palpable.  The surge before the fall.  Hunting, and gathering.  Preparations for the seasonal change.  The moon is full and unbearably bright.  The only thing keeping it from waking me at night is that it is low enough in the sky to partially hide behind the still leafed trees.  Red squirrels are busy eating and dropping the pine cones from the highest branches.  Watch out below.  You’re likely to get bopped on the head.  I’m in a constant battle with my apple loving neighbors.  The deer aren’t waiting for the drops.  I saw a rustle of leaves out of the corner of my eye yesterday morning and thought the blue jays were busy pecking at the apples.   When I stopped to scare them away, there, instead, was a young buck, on hind legs, pulling at the red apples hanging within reach.  The wild trees are full.  The deer know the cultivars are sweeter.


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With so much activity, I wanted a project that was fairly easy.  Something to take onto the deck with me at the end of the day to relax.  Onerva looked easy and it is after you get going.  I had a bit of trouble figuring out if I had all the information I needed to begin.  Thank goodness knitting charts cross language barriers.  The notes and expanded charts from other knitters on Ravelry helped. 


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I chose a new yarn I’m trying for Ball and Skein.  It is a silk / sea silk blend, lovely to work with and a pleasure to dye.  It isn’t up on the site yet, it will be.  Silk can be slippery.   I wanted to use a needle with a bit of grab.  Not much, but a little bit to keep the stitches in place.   Knit Picks Zephyrs are perfect.  The points are sharp and the needles are very light weight.  That they are transparent tickles me every time I look at them.  They are sure to become a favorite of mine. 


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It promises to be a perfect weekend.  I’m planning on deck time, some kayaking and maybe even a walk in the woods.  No traffic for me.

Have yourself a good one.



Japanese Vines Scarf

When I first saw this pattern, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.  I knew what color I wanted to dye and the yarn I would use.  It was mid May in New England.  Everywhere I looked, there is was, a fresh new green sprouting up, harbinger of renewed life in the woodlands, fields and gardens.  There was a green canopy forming overhead.  They went together, this pattern of twining leaves, looking as if they also were only just waking, unfurling their leaves on their trip to the sun and the new colorway I imagined.

The yarn is Arbori, 50% merino / 50% tencel, the color is "Sprout".   Michelle and I emailed back and forth discussing the possibility of kitting it up.  I swatched with the Arbori and came up with what I thought would be the finished dimensions.  I made up a few kits to sell at MA S&W and continued working on my own.  I can see myself making a larger version as a shawl.  I love the pattern.  After the first few repeats, I was able to memorize it.  The few times I dropped a yarnover, I found it on the next row.  This was a knit that I wanted to go on, and on.  Perfect travel knitting.  Sunday, I have to travel and this knit is done.  It'll be a hard one to replace.  This morning I soaked it and stretched it out on the table.  No blocking.   This may be enough.

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The Japanese Vine Scarf by Michelle Molis
Needles: Knitpicks Options #4
Yarn: Ball and Skein Arbori  "Sprout"
Finished Size: wide version 7 1/2" x 52"


This will be offered as a kit.  Pre-order for July. 

I know that quite a lot of you have purchased the Arbori yarn from me at shows and as part of the Persephone kit.  It will be offered in a limited number of colors soon.
   
 

Persephone

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Persephone version2
 

Today's post was going to be about spindle spun yarn, but...

Yesterday, Mim wrote to tell me that her Persephone pattern, using Ball and Skein's new yarn, Arbori, was ready to go.  I love this pattern.  It has a perfect blend of geometry and whimsy.  Last month, I wrote to Mim asking if I could purchase a copy of it.  She wrote back that it wasn't available for sale yet but that she was looking for a commercial yarn to use for it.  Serendipity?  I had a new yarn I wanted her to try, she had a pattern.  Sometimes, things just happen that way.  Orders for the kit go on sale today.

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Go on over to Ball and Skein to order or click here.

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Diamond Fantasy

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It is way too wet to want to take the Diamond  Fantasy out for a photo shoot.  Hanging it on a door is about the best it can be today.  The color is a bit off.  It should be more to the periwinkle.  Like this:

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Things I'd do differently... only one thing. I 'd make the shawl version.. I want BIGGER. That's it!  I went for the little shawlette.  It is perfect for a scarf or to use as a bit of knitted jewelry.  This was a test piece for me to see if I'd like a "new" yarn.  I do.  It was a pleasure to knit and the shine that I worried about, becomes no more that a highlight in the knitted piece.

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Pattern: Diamond Fantasy by Sivia Harding
Needles: Knitpicks Options #8                  
Yarn: Ball & Skein: merino /tencel lace wt. 


Manise left this question in the comments the other day:

"Will you show us how you do your Russian join with photos? "

I did a picture tutorial a while back showing it with silk.  Click here if you want a refresher.  I use it for everything.  Even wool.  Instead of a spit splice, I separate the plied yarn in half (If it is a two ply, I only thread one through the eye of the needle, if it is a 4 ply, I use 2) to eliminate any bulkiness at the join, then sew it together. After you tighten up the join, cut away the unused plies and all loose ends.   Wet the yarn a bit and roll it between your hands to full any little loose ends. It is a nearly invisible join.   


the folly

Last week I dyed two colorways of a new (to me) yarn.  I often do that when I want to see if I'm interested in offering it for sale.  I play with it; checking to see how it takes color and how it knits up.  This yarn is a tencel / merino blend.  I love the clothing I have of tencel, and I love merino.  So far, I am liking this yarn, too.  It has a lot of shine.   Not a good or bad thing, just something that needs to be considered when planning a project. 

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I like to think that I make decisions, that I choose the projects that I move onto.  I like to dream, too.  Most of the time, my decisions are based on what is at hand; convenience and chance.  I figured that this yarn would be great with beads.  When I went shopping, I came home empty handed.  Nothing that I found matched with what I had in my head.  Sometimes it happens that way.  No beads.  I looked for patterns and finally decided on Rosemary Hill's Muir.  I would use the darker purple. I went online and downloaded the pattern.  I looked in my knitting bag for the skein that I'd been carrying around with me while I was looking for the beads, and it wasn't there.  I'd need to go to the barn to get another.  It was cold, -12 or so, and it was dark, around 9:30 pm and blowing.  I had no interest in getting bundled up to walk through the snow to get yarn.  There was, however, a ball of the periwinkle on my desk.  Not for Muir.  That's when I remembered that I had a copy of Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy Shawl in my briefcase.  (I carry around a few very special patterns in my briefcase, in case, for times like this.)   It has been there for more than a year waiting for the right time.  Waiting for a cold night when it would become "perfect".   

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Just so you understand... this is what it STILL looks like on a bright and sunny day.  A day in the 20's, a day when I want to be outside. 

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My deck.  In the front it is 4 1/2 ft. above the ground. 


flyin'

The past few weeks flew by.  I got up in the morning and started skeining yarn while I waited for the coffee, worked through 'til bedtime.  Everyday.  Looking back, it's only a blur.  There was a lot of preparation for last weekend's NETA Spa.  And, there were the Gust kits.  By now, everyone who ordered should have received their kits.  I really enjoyed knitting mine.  Having it knit in time for a sample meant fitting it in between trips to the shop and knitting up the Oh! Canada. 

Oh! Canada was finished a couple nights before I left. Since I was short on time I skipped the blocking.  I ran a sink full of warm water and soaked it one evening, leaving it to dry between towels spread on the table.  There, my sweet Sammy found it to be a comfortable addition to a hard wooden surface and took over the job of blocking while napping on top.  He did a good job. 

I like this scarf / shawl even more than I thought I would.  Anne's vision is just wonderful.  It "blocked" out to be a light, airy piece, full of motion. 

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And, if all that wasn't quite enough...  we had snow..LOTS and LOTS of snow!

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Pretty, isn't it? 

Another thing... to all of you sweet friends, you know who you are, who came and helped me unload the car, or pack and reload it after SPA, thank you.  I was wondering how I'd manage.   The answer was the help of friends.   


blowin' in

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Anne sent me this "little something" of a pattern she knit from Ball and Skein's Arequipa yarn in Atlantic.  She named it Gust.  You can see it finished on her site.  (Go ahead, doesn't Anne have the most impossibly beautiful, long, slender neck?)  What a sweet pleasure this is to knit.  I'd love to say that I memorized the pattern in the first repeat or so, but no... not me.  If it weren't for all the Netflix that C had playing and the subtitles on LOST,  memorizing  would have been easy.  Finally, it was.  This is one of those patterns that as you knit you picture knitting again and again, each time in a different color.  A perfect little something.

Tomorrow, I'll post this as a kit, Anne's pattern and the Arequipa yarn.  It will be offered in four colorways, Atlantic, Storm, The Blues, and Gourd

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a note:  Thank you to those who have left your quiet, kind comments and emails.   I don't know some of you beyond my computer screen, but your thoughts sailed through and were deeply appreciated.   

That brings me to another thank you, this time to Pat, Cindy, Carrie, and Lynne.  You also make my day.  I find myself delighted and even after all these years, amazed that other people take the time to read my thoughts.  YOU, all of you, make my day.  I couldn't possibly choose 10 people.  Each day is different.  A blog that makes me smile one day, can inspire the next.  It is a rich world that we have made in this digital realm.  I'm happy to be here.

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Ice Queen

This little knit is one of my all time favorite projects.  The hundred or more little beads could have something to do with it.  Maybe it's that Ice Queen is a nearly weightless, slightly frilly (with that lovely scalloped bottom edge) little something that feels absolutely wonderful around my neck and makes me feel just a little bit special.  Love it.  I might even need another one. 

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Ice Queen
pattern by Rosemary Hill
yarn: Ball and Skein Arequipa in "The Blues"
needles: Knitpicks harmony #7
#6 glass beads, clear lined with mixed blues

Notes:  I knit this according to the pattern.  It is wonderful as a neck warmer, I don't want to take it off.  Even with my rather small head size, this is too short to cover the back of my neck when worn pulled up.  If I were to make it again, I would increase the length several inches.   

It was snowing when these pictures were taken.  Did you notice all the little white specks that are snow flakes (balls)?  Anyone know the name of that kind of snow?