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Super Wolf Blood Moon

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So in 2018 we opened the year with a Super Blue Blood Wolf Moon which was quite the event! Well here we are again, starting 2019 with a Super Wolf Blood Moon. The only difference being that this super eclipse wolf moon is not a blue moon. It is a very special full moon though. It’s a total lunar eclipse happening the same time as a super moon which is when the moon is closest to the earth. That my friends is whole lot of lunar mojo and we haven’t even added in that it’s the wolf moon and blood moon. If I was this full moon I would be a little nervous about living up to all of this. I bet the moon does not have performance anxiety.

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Of course I have made a a couple of colorways in honor of all of this moon magic. It seems like I have not made new colorways in a bit and making these few made me so very happy!  One of the drawbacks to not having the sock yarn and the stress that has gone with it is the creating new hues. Anyway… of course I created a Super Wolf Blood Moon which was fun. Moon inspired colorways are ind fo my things right up there with chickens and pond scum. Oohhh one of the moon colorways this year must have pond scum in it.  I’m excited to see how it knits up.

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And then I also created a Wolf Moon colorway for January’s Full Moon!

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We will have both of these colorways up on the website later this week. I know… new techie was not able to get to it. In the mean time if you want to order these you can do so by ordering whatever base you want in another color ( I would choose a moon one just cause) and then int he comments section of you order tell us you want either Super Wolf Blood Moon or Wolf Moon or both!!

I am going to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a few years and it has just never worked out. There is a time and place and I feel like this is the year. So keep a look out for a moon colorway for each month this year. And if you have thoughts or ideas for them let me know you ideas. Our next one is February which I believe is the Cold Moon.

Did you know that there will not be another total lunar eclipse visible in the US until 2022. So enjoy this one. I know I am. I hope it is not cloudy or foggy this evening, a tall order for the Pacific Northwest in the winter.

One of my favorite poets passed away this week Mary Oliver. Mary Oliver is beloved and I am sire I am not the only one of us touched by her and her poems. One of her collections that really speaks to me is called The Twelve Moons. I know. I am nothing if not predictable. Anyway as we color our year in full moons I will share some of Mary’s poetic musing on each moon and life.Here is her poem Wolf Moon.

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Wolf Moon by Mary Oliver

Now is the season of hungry mice, cold rabbits,
lean owls hunkering with their lamp-eyes
in the leafless lanes in the needled dark;
now is the season when the kittle fox
comes to town in the blue valley of early morning;
now is the season of iron rivers, bloody crossings,
flaring winds, birds frozen in their tents of weeds,
their music spent and blown like smoke to the stone of the sky;
now is the season of the hunter Death;
with his belt of knives, his black snowshoes,
he means to cleanse the earth of fat;
his gray shadows are out and running – under
the moon, the pines, down snow-filled trails they carry
the red whips of their music, their footfalls quick as hammers,
from cabin to cabin, from bed to bed, from dreamer to dreamer.

We’ve added to the website our 4th Semester of School of Yarn ~ Silk Road! So check it out. We are going to journey back in time down that Silk Road and have a god long look at the culture that is silk! Our yarns are yummy and two of them are only available through the club right now. So if you ever wanted to learn more about silk and the best ways to knit with it then join Karen and I for this next fiber adventure.

Okay I am off to finish some sock yarn writing and knitting

Hope you are having a great weekend. Enjoy our Super Wolf Blood Moon!! It’s cloudy here so I am thinking it’s not in the stars to see it here tonight. A little sad.

Blue Moon KonMari and yarn/shipping updates

Well, my friends, we have have one storage pod empty and the other half empty. Holy moly – what an undertaking. It’s amazing how much stuff can collect when you’re not looking. Hell, even if you are looking and are just busy. You know how it goes. “I’ll just put this here and then come back and sort it all out later when I have time.” hahaha.  And then the next thing you know, your closet is overflowing … or your bookshelves or both of your storage pods, as the case may be!

Anyway, if anything this Pod-KonMari process has been an interesting trip down memory lane. I am sorry to say we are not holding everything and thanking it.… well, maybe the knit samples. Oh my goodness.

Karen is here for the weekend so we can work on a bunch of Club and school stuff and do some planning. Last night we dug through four of those big Rubbermaid bins! And oh my goodness: the things we used to knit! I will post pictures over the next few weeks. It’s pretty interesting and was certainly entertaining after a pretty stressful week.

I have lots and lots and lots of socks! Some pairs and some singles and we are thinking up some de-stashing fun for those. So look on Instagram for our sock de-stash party.

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Of course we found more yarn for Mill End Mystery Grab Bags, so I have put a few more of those up for sale.

We also found a number of panels of grid-wall and extra hooks leftover from our Sock Summit days. We are selling those locally, since who needs 80 grid-wall slats? (80! I kid you not!) If you are local to the Portland area and interested, you can email info@bluemoonfiberarts.com for details.

Our BFL Sport Farewell Special is still running and lots of you are supporting our send-off, so thank you. It does make it a little more palatable (if no less sad). We are starting to run a little low, though, so if you have yet to order and would like to play along, now would be the time to do so. Samantha (the designer) is thrilled we are going to do a Vancouver Shawl KAL! And as ever, I am available for color consulting: send me an e-mail and we can chat color options!

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As I mentioned in the newsletter today, we will not be going to Stitches West this year. It’s a hard decision and not one we made lightly. I do know that we are not the only ones making this choice as hard as it is. I love Stitches West and being back there last year was all kinds of wonderful. And… I have pretty much been looking forward to this year’s show since the last one ended. However, with all of the yarn delays and being behind because of them, we decided it was best to sit this one out as we get caught up (and also ensure that we don’t get in this position again anytime soon!!)

YARN AND SHIPPING UPDATE

What is being held up by the Sock Yarn delay:

• Rockin’ Sock Club, School of Yarn and Out of the Hue Club.
• Any website orders that are for only Socks that Rock.
• If you placed a mixed order (Socks that Rock plus other bases), we are shipping out partial orders with the yarn we have available; the Socks that Rock will ship out separately.
• The Anniversary package was held up by the bags, and now that the bags are coming in, the yarn has become the issue! Of course it is. For those of you who are next in line for your Anniversary packages, we are offering other yarn base choices as substitutes for the Socks that Rock in your package. I am in the process of emailing those of you who are in the queue.

Mills are not the best at time frames or communication. We are passing along the information we get, as we get it. I expect to start seeing sock yarn this week.

Besides our Socks that Rock delay, I have some other yarn news to share to keep you in the loop and to also to share with you all where we find ourselves in the yarn industry right now.

As you may have noticed, Tigger is currently hidden on the website. We are almost out and the stock we do have on hand is dedicated to School of Yarn and a few LYS orders. As of right now, the news from the broker is that the mill that made Tigger won’t continue to do so. It is a high-energy cabled yarn, which is not the easiest to make to begin with. When you add in the factor that most of the mill equipment in this country is pretty old, that makes it even more challenging to make. We are looking at other sources and options and I will keep you posted on that.

Our lot of Single Silky Targhee is running a little low; we are trying to reorder that and coming up with the some of the same issues as with the Tigger. Oh, and did I mention that we are also running up against low amounts of Targhee wool in the States?

The mill that has been making our Silky Victoria has declined to do so. (Are you sensing a theme here, cause I certainly am.) So it will now be made elsewhere, but it takes time to get a yarn started at a new mill (lots of samples, testing and such). We have our needles crossed that this will be a seamless transition!

I believe that we are going to be seeing more and more of this mill-shuffling in the future; as a result, we will be having to plan farther and farther ahead than we have in quite a while (if ever).

COMMUNICATION AND CUSTOMER SERVICE

At the moment I am your lead in customer service (with Kalia as backup in shipping).

I am answering emails as soon as I can, usually within 24 hours unless they come in on the weekend. (Which a lot do, since most us all work during the week.) I do work through the weekend, but sometimes I won’t finish answering a weekend’s worth of e-mails until the beginning of the week.

I update this blog every weekend (there’s also a blog for the Rockin’ Sock Club, which gets updated less often, as necessary). Also once a week (usually on Fridays), I send out an e-mail newsletter through Constant Contact. The newsletter goes out to all our mailing lists every week; however, because these are bulk emails, it is possible that your firewalls see them as spam and aren’t letting them through on your end. It happens.

What I do see (by looking at the analytics on the back end here) is that while there are bounce-backs, a lot of people don’t click to open and read the newsletter. And hey – I understand why. As fiber-loving, creating people, we are inundated with email newsletters all the time. But if you’re looking for information about yarn status and general news about what’s going on over here, I am reaching out with this information in several ways – it’s in all those places for you to see, in addition to my being here on email.

We know a lot of you are on social media in all sorts of places these days; and thank you for sharing your love of Blue Moon there! But we need to remind you that Social Media is not someplace we can or will do customer service. There are just too many places to keep track of, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Ravelry. Some large companies employ one or more people just to monitor their social media feeds! And even then, the folks who work on all that would likely refer customer service questions back to the people who are next to the yarn, or on the computers with the orders, to answer specific questions.

For customer service questions and issues (order status, color questions, yarn updates), please communicate with us directly via e-mail. In an e-mail conversation, we can address your order questions and concerns directly and personally (in a way social media threads can’t support).

If you ever e-mail us and don’t get a reply in a day or two, please check to see that our replies aren’t getting filtered out or caught in your firewalls. When in doubt, try sending your e-mail again from another address (gmail addresses almost always get through!). We are doing our best to get you the information you want right away.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we get out footing back.

Have a great weekend!

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It’s a new yarn…

Hi…

Oh my goodness what a week. Do you ever have those weeks where nothing and I mean nothing turns out like you planned. I did this week. Well, actually let’s be real the late yarn shipment means this has been my reality for a while now. I just feel like this week upped the ante a bit.

I have finally sold the 2 huge storage pods that I bought the year of the first Sock Summit to store all the things we needed for that and also yarn. And as happens if you have a space things do come along to fill it. Easier to put things in the pods than decide what to do with them. Anyway long story short we do not need them anymore and I would like to have them not blocking my view on my wetland. So we are cleaning them out!

Oh my… such an undertaking, they are big pods. Yesterday we built a bonfire in the fire pit and burned leftover old RSC dyer’s notes and pattern pdf’s that we can’t sell. At first I felt sad as I watched all that work go up in smoke but then I had this wonderful moment where it felt like all of that wonderful color and knit energy and love was not boxed up in a pod but set free to fly away into the world to hopefully spark the imagination of some innocent soul who does not yet know the joy of knitting! So that’s what we did was set all of that creative and knit energy free. A beautiful thing really if you think about it!! We also roasted hot dogs for lunch and had s’mores, as ya do!

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So if you feel a little more knit energy in the air it was us!

LOOK!!!!!

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It’s a new yarn! Panda is the long lost cousin to our Woobu. A light and lovely 3 ply fingering-weight of a yarn with just enough bamboo to give us that silver hazey sheen we know and love so much! The addition of nylon adds a little strength and also some depth of color which I am enjoying. I was surprised at how lofty Panda is. I expected it to be a little more dense with not as much life to it but it has seriously surprised me. I can see Panda in all kinds of shawls, scarves and yes even sweaters! Also, I am so going to test it out as a sock yarn. We are offering Panda at an introductory price of 23.00.

Please let us know what you think and if you would like us to add this lovely yarn to our Blue Moon line-up. And who knows if we purchase enough maybe we can charm them into bringing back Woobu!

NOTE: There is no picture of Panda at the moment on the website. It would be the one you see here. We ran into some technical weirdness we are fixing.

Vancouver Shawl KAL!

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In keeping with putting good knit and yarn energy into the world no matter what Karen and I have decided that yes to a proper knit goodbye to our BFL Sport.

So…grab your yarn. In a few posts before this one you’ll find all of the info about our BFL Sport and Seduction yarn specials. You will also find color trio suggestions for this stunning shawl. I am so happy we are doing this. Celebrating the yarn itself ans one of my favorite ( and it turns out yours too) shawls designed by one of my favorite people!! Seriously could not be better. well of course unless BFL Sport was not going away. I guess that would make it better, wouldn’t it? Sigh.

Please oh please if you need color help ask me. I have had so much fun putting together trios for you. Send an email to info@ bluemoonfiberarts.com and put Vancouver Shawl in the subject line and then give me an idea of the color direction you want to go.

I feel a little sad for Seduction which is also a very nice yarn. I would feel a little left out if I was Seduction. So stay tuned. Hmm…

Have a great weekend.

on special: Seduction

Ah, knitters … we are so easily seduced by yarn, aren’t we?

In this case, it’s all in the name: Seduction is a glossy little temptress of a yarn, combining 50% merino for woolly softness with 50% Tencel for glorious sheen. It’s a combination that was bound to win you over… even before she was discounted at 20% off!

We’re sorry to see her go — but our loss could be your yarn collection’s gain. Time to let yourself be seduced by Seduction while there’s still some of her to go around!

Seduction is a true fingering-weight yarn, knitting up well in the 7 stitch per inch range and sporting 400 yards per skein. The gals in the dye barn would like you to know that the Tencel in here doesn’t fully absorb the dye, so you get some slightly muted hues — more than made up for by the shimmery gloss! So don’t expect these to be super-dark if you’re ordering a Raven or other black-based colorway. Like the Woobu of old, these will come up a bit lighter in tone on Seduction.

I got to play with my skein of “Lagoon” (I’m so into the greens lately!), and wanted to see what this glorious finewool/Tencel blend could bring to our projects.

Jagged Triangular Scarf SideFirst up, I wanted to find a pattern that helps y’all make the most of a skein or two. Michelle Krause’s ‘Jagged Triangular Scarf’ (free!) pattern has you weigh your skein before you begin, then start work at one edge and grow it towards the center. When you’ve used up half your yarn by weight (or perhaps just a smidge less), you start decreasing down to the other end! Clever. There’s lots of garter stitch here for easy knitting, and an 8-row increase-then-bind-off repeat that’s just enough to hold your interest through the long winter evenings ahead. This would make a fabulous little wardrobe boost for spring!

IMG_4040And as you can see, in Seduction it’s all kinds of glorious. I love the little petal-shaped edges, and the slipped-stitch selvages elevate garter stitch to an elegant new level.

But let’s say you want to take advantage of Seduction’s warm-weather properties: the Tencel that makes up half of this yarn is such a cool, smooth texture against the skin, it just begs to be knitted up by those of you in the Southern end of things! It also lends itself beautifully to lace and other openwork projects, since the Tencel will lay down so smoothly with blocking (while the Merino gives it the memory it needs to not bag out of shape).

CleverKnits’ ‘Bias’ pattern makes a scarf or shawl with a simple biased openwork pattern that’s a cinch to knit — and the designer gives you all the information you need to cast on more or fewer stitches to create the size you want (or your yarn allows).

IMG_4039I cast on 41 stitches to make the scarf size recommended, and am really enjoying the rhythm of the RS rows. (On the WS, you get what I call a ‘purl-side vacation’ — no pattern to memorize so you get to daydream a little!)

And if you weigh your skein before you start, then weigh it again after your 6-row garter-stitch edging before launching into the bias openwork stitch pattern, you’ll be able to make the absolute most of your skein(s) by stopping when you have just enough to knit that border again before binding off!

Warm-climate knitters, take note: Seduction could be your answer to handknit sock projects! A lot of knitters on Ravelry have used Seduction for warm-weather footwear, using patterns like Ann Budd’s ‘Seduction Socks’ and Cookie A’s ever-popular ‘Pomatomus’.

seductiontempestBEAUTYBut what’s got me hot to cast on Right!Now! is Ann Weaver’s ‘Tempest’ cardigan (from a ten-year-old issue of Knitty — ten years already!). There’s so much clever design in this pattern, I almost don’t know where to start. I love the two-color stripes, which let you play with Tina’s rich colorways in so many different combinations. But do you see what Ann’s done there at the waist? The stripes get narrower, giving the whole design an optical effect of hourglass that accentuates the waist in a flattering way — whether you feel like you have a waist or no!

I also love the dainty little buttons (14 of them!) that allow you to button this cardigan up strategically in the way that works best for you and your outfit. So much to love in one little cardi! And it’s knitted at a gauge of 20 sts =4″/10cm, so even though you’re using finer yarn, the knitting won’t take forever. Grab 2-3 skeins of each colorway in Seduction, and you’ll be sporting this hot little number come spring at your favorite neighborhood café!

No matter what size project you choose, you’ll enjoy the process of being seduced by Seduction. And when she’s gone, she’s gone, so get those orders in straight away!

Color thoughts on the Vancouver Shawl in BFL Sport.

So…we’ve gotten a whole bunch of requests for some color combo ideas for the Vancouver Shawl  by Samantha Roshak that I posted about in our “bye bye BFL Sport” post on Saturday.

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So… here are some color thoughts and ideas!

First of all the three colors Sam used here are Manly Yes ( the MC Neutral)  and then two contrasting colors Saffron Jungle and My Blue Heaven. A stunning color combination!!

So what works best is a neutral-ish hue for the MC that will highlight the other two colorways.  I have a few pictures of one I put together this am but basically if you follow the neutral MC with contrasts CC you will be fine. the contrast can be in color as in blue and orange or can be in value or saturation.

I would not choose highly variegated colorways for this one or if you have your heart set on one for the 2 contrast then make sure the other contrast is a shaded solid so there is some balance.

Okay so here are a few I pulled off the dye skein sample wall.

In most of these ( #1,#3,#4,and #6) where there is a grey color I want that to be the MC . In #2 I want the MC to be Bittersweet and in #5 ~ I want the MC to be Once in a Blue Moon.

Okay now onto set #2

#6 MC is Bittersweet  , #7 MC Deep Unrelenting Grey, #8  I think you coud choose nay of these as the MC,

#9 MC Welcome to the Jungle, #10 MC Deep Unrelenting Grey, #11 MC either Deep Unrelenting Grey or Bittersweet, #12 MC is Green Wing please.

and our very last set.

Phew…

Oops looks like we misplaced #13 Oh well.

#14 MC Misty Day. Ok so I put Bittersweet in here because it’s what I have but other colors that would be awesome are Boysenberry or Cranberry Bogged!!

#15 MC Misty Day ,  #16 MC Smoke on Water,  #17 MC  Misty Day  Figgy Pudding be replace by Enchantress, Maroon 5,  Moontide  …

Okay … my friends I know we are missing blues and brighter hues, I used what I had on hand for photos. There is contrast ( a good amount)  in these trios, but not high contrast, so if you want something more let me know.  If there is nothing here that makes you happy email me. info@bluemoonfiberarts.com

I will go through later and add trio choices just by colorway name.

Like…

Chana Masala, Manly Yes and Moontide

or

Maroon 5, Misty Day and Lake Crescent

or

Cranberry Bogged,  Everyday Grey and  Spruced or Electric Blue or a Yellow even…

Moldy Peaches, Bladderwrack on the Rocks and Blue is the New Black ( thank you Barbara)

or

Motley Hue, Maroon 5 and Magically Delicious

or

on special: BFL Sport and Seduction

Okay, so I do have a whole bunch to say, but I think I will write another post on New Year’s Eve with all of that in it.

Right now I would like to share a bit of a yarn love story with you. Yes…you will need a hanky! If you have been here with me for awhile you know I have a thing for longwools. I pretty much love everything about longwool breeds from their cute little faces framed with those long and lovely locks, to the stunning fiber and yarns that we create, and lastly all the knitwear we knitters make with them.

BFLFaceAs a spinner and yarn designer I love the silky smoothness as it slips through my fingers and twisted onto the bobbin. As a dyer… oh my, the saturation of hue you get with longwools in just stunning and the luminescence leaves this fiber fanatic weak in the knees. And then there is the knitting, crocheting and weaving of it!

I vividly remember the very first time I ever dyed a longwool fiber. Some lovely soul have gifted me with some Wensleydale top and locks. I think I had only been dyeing about a year or so at that point, so I was still learning a lot about dyeing different fiber types. I washed the locks and prepped my dye pot, and then when all was ready, I dumped them in. I could tell as soon as they hit the pot that they were different than the other fibers I had been dyeing. I stood there pretty much the whole time it took for the locks to absorb the color and exhaust the pot. I used a gold with some green flecks (‘Pond Scum’s great-grand color); I could see depths of shade I was not getting or seeing in some of the merinos I was dyeing. Which (I now know) is due to those larger scales that longwools have and the way those scales can reflect the light!

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So… fast forward a few years to when I have brought in Socks that Rock® and am considering another yarn base. Of course, I knew it had to be a longwool or some blend thereof. I was looking at and testing samples, but was not really thrilled with any of them — I was searching for a more rustic-looking yarn. And then I stumbled upon BFL SPORT and quite honestly it was love at first stitch.

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One of my most prized sweaters is knit our of BFL Sport by my friend Anna Zilboorg. I cherish it for many reasons ( Anna  knit it!!) but most definitely because of the yarn! Also a story for another time that I think I have not shared with you that I need to. 

So much loft our BFL SPORT has all the while also feeling seriously smooth and silky. I love the fabric it creates and was all set to have all the things knitted in it.  BFL SPORT has been part of the Blue Moon garment yarn line-up for longer than I can remember — at least 14 years. Which, in the life of a yarn base is quite a while. (You can feel where this is going now, can’t you?)

Yes, our lovely BFL SPORT is being discontinued. And yes it is very sad. It is being discontinued because it is not pulling its weight, meaning it does not sell as well as it used to or as we need it to. Making a yarn base from the sheep on up is timely and expensive (even more so these days). Which means if a yarn is not pulling its weight, then it needs to make way for one that will, to support the whole yarn-making and -selling chain.

Also one has to keep current with what the end user (knitter, crocheter, weaver) wants to use; and right now, that is pretty much only anything Merino and superwashed. I know there are those of us who love using other breeds and yarns that are not superwash-treated; but we are not in the majority right now.  Trends are one of the reasons a yarn is discontinued, but also it can be as simple as us not buying it up in the quantities it needs for the mill to keep spinning it.

In order to have a yarn base stick around it needs to be supported! Which means it needs designers to use it and knitters, crocheters and weavers to buy it and use and and talk about it and spread the word! So when you see one of us yarnies say a yarn is being shelved it is mostly because of usage. And you know, in the grand scheme of a growing and changing wool/yarn/knit industry there are changes that need to happen. Yarn-evolution!  I just think that I see a trend toward yarns that are easy care and homogenous — and that’s a trend I find concerning.

We are offering our wonderful BFL SPORT at a ‘goodbye and thank you for being wonderful’ discount while the supply lasts. So if you love this yarn, now is your chance  to stock up! Maybe we should have a “Tina’s Sweater” KAL to say goodbye to our BFL yarn friend.

I have changed the price of BFL SPORT  from  38.00 to $29.64

Seduction is also changed from 27.00 to $20.25

That means both are over 20% off!

We are also offering the same discount on our Seduction yarn for the same reason. I will be writing another blog post a little later in the week.

Below you will find all kinds of BFL SPORT love from Karen.

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Have you knitted with a luster longwool lately? There’s something truly special about the breeds of sheep that grow these long-staple fibers: Wensleydales, Cheviots, and Cotswolds can all trace their sheepy lineage back to the Leicesters. The Bluefaced Leicester grows the finest fleece of all the Leicesters, which means its fiber has a lustrous quality to it that almost makes it look like it’s been blended with silk. So you get all the benefit of woolly bounce with a sheen and shimmer that really sings!

BFL Sport hits that sweet spot between fingering- and DK-weights, and its lustrous loft means that you can knit all sorts of great patterns that would call for a fingering-weight knitted ‘open’ on larger needles – and that’s a huge range of great patterns these days!

Also, since Tina’s generous skeins clock in at a whopping 660+ yards each, you’ll only need one for a whole set of accessories, or two or three for a sweater. Throw in the discount, and you’ve got a 100% wool, breed-specific, hand-dyed unique garment for under or around $100! Win-win.

I did a few swatches just to see where this yummy yarn likes to live, gauge-wise. My little swatch friends were bouncy before blocking, and fluffy and well-behaved afterwards. My stitch gauge opened up just a bit, but my row gauge remained stable – all indications of a bouncy, reliable wool yarn. The washed swatches have a lovely fluffy halo to them – like a kitten, fresh out of the bath (minus the claw marks and drawn blood! swatching is SO much easier than bathing a cat!!).

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My fluffy little swatches were knitted in the colorway “Spruced”: bottom right was knitted on 3.5mm/US4 needles, and top left was knitted on 4mm/US6. Between these needle sizes, I’m getting fabric gauges from 23 to 21 stitches = 4″/10cm; perfect territory for all sorts of great garment patterns.

The fabric here has beautiful loft without being heavy, so we’ll be looking at patterns that don’t require a ton of drape. Instead, we’ll be looking for lightweight, wearable wonders to take advantage of BFL Sport’s next-to-skin-softness and slight silky sheen.
The Easy One

The lightweight fluffiness of the swatch on the US6 had me thinking about Joji Locatelli’s “The Easy One” (right), originally written for Brooklyn Tweed Loft. For those of you who the lofty texture but would rather work with a worsted-spun yarn, BFL Sport would be a great candidate in this super-simple, sweatshirt-wearable design. And perhaps best of all, 2-4 skeins will cover sizes XS to 4XL!

No FrillsAt that same gauge (and similar simplicity), the “No Frills Cardigan” by PetiteKnit (left) would be a lightweight, three-season wonder! Knit from the top down with easy raglan shaping, you could be wearing this way before winter rolls over into spring. (Plus, who doesn’t love pockets? These set-in pockets look particularly enchanting.)

waits

Or, if a pert little cardigan is more what you’re after, “Waits” by Bristol Ivy (right) would take advantage of the firmer end of BFLS’ gauge range. Bouncy little garter-stitch edges would stay tidy wear after wear – this sweater would really hold its shape, and be super-packable because it would be so lightweight! Bust sizes from 37″ to 57″+ can be knitted from just 2–4 skeins of BFLS.

Want just a taste of BFL? Order up a single skein in that colorway that’s been driving you to distraction and whip up a “Boneyard Shawl” — STAT! (Awww — lookit that: Stephen West as a little lad, before his artsy Amsterdam reinvention!)

BoneyardGosh — now I’m even sorrier to see this lovely lustrous yarn friend go. Think I’ll order up a few skeins to make myself my own “Tina’s Sweater” — but in the meantime, I’ll be winding up my two skeins of “Spruced” to make my Waits cardigan … it’s been in the queue too long!

 

 

 

Okay I think that is good for now. I would like to say thank you and farewell to these two lovely yarns in a proper way with a KAL. So pick your pattern and stock up and we will set a date where we will all cast on and do a whole lotta sharing. Stay tuned for more details and Seduction pattern ideas. Karen is all escited about being the lead on this one!

Have a good weekend!

Holiday Wishes

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Christmas 1961.

I am 4 years old which makes my sister 2.

I love this picture. It is one of my favorite holiday photos from when I was a wee one. Aren’t we cute? This totally captures both of our personalities.

Christmas was quite the production with lots and lots of family, food, music, and fun. We had a giant tree with loads and loads of decorations. Underneath the tree was a train and a little village scene that we were not suppose to play with but of course we totally did. My favorite place to be was under the Christmas tree, it just felt like the most magical of places. When I was real small I could squeeze all the way to the back where no one could fine me.  I often fell asleep back there.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what this holiday means to me at this moment in time in the world and in my life. In so doing I’ve been remembering what it was like as a child and what I loved and you know what? Nothing has really has changed, although I would be hard pressed to get under the tree much less hide in the back. I would totally be found!!

Sophie is here and is the kitchen baking. Rabia flew in this morning and is heading out with my son and his wife and pooch ( Narayan, Candice and Siena). We will be together doing the things that are our traditions that make this day magical and loving for us. It’s the love!! Always….the love.

I know that holidays can be hard for some of us. I also find them hard. I miss those that are no longer here with me. I count myself lucky that my kids come home for the holiday and I get to spend this time with them for I know it is a great gift.

I have felt very alone at times this year so I understand how hard that can be. If you feel alone and struggling right now my heart is with you. Here is my hand please do take it. I wish all of us that felt alone could be together.

Yarn, color and knitting stitch us together. We do have each other.

Thank you for being my fiber family!!

It’s been a year and you’ve been here with me and for that I am forever grateful.

love! love! love!

I wish you love! The more love we put out in the world the more it creates and comes back.

Cast on a love circle!

luxurious knits for #selfknitcare December Special!

Tina has not one, but TWO special yarns to tempt us with this second week of December #selfknitcare special! (coupon code at bottom of post!) A little Super soft DK love!

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Crackpaca just oozes luxury from every little pearl-like twist of its firm little double plies. With 45% baby alpaca for drape and softness, 40% Merino for superfine wooly wonderfulness, and 10% cultivated silk for a little glisten and gleam, it’s a tasty little morsel of a yarn.

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We promptly knit it up in Churchmouse’s free pattern, Vineyard Cowl, because all that sumptuous softness deserved to be right up against our necks! This little piece makes the most of a single (generous) skein, taking just 200+ yards. Heck – if you have friends with birthdays in January, or you’re getting together after the holidays for a delayed gift exchange, this pattern should be top of your list. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy snuggling up in this beauty come January!

The thing I really appreciate about how Tina designed Crackpaca is its total non-hairiness! Many alpaca yarns have some fibers that sproink out and poke you just a little bit; or they can look a little … shaggy. Not so Crackpaca! There’s something in the tightness of the ply, plus the addition of merino for softness and silk for sheen that makes Crackpaca read less … alpaca-y. (You know what I mean, right?)

So imagine my delight when one of my design crushes, Amy Cristoffers, released a new pullover pattern designed for alpaca-blend yarns: the Ryder Pullover.

IMG_7092_small2Here’s an easy, sumptuous funnel-neck sweater that you’d just want to cozy up in on a weekend and never leave. It’s got modern, deep ribbing at the cuffs and a high-yet-wide neckline that lets you snuggle into Crackpaca’s soft folds. Sizes range from 36″–55″, which would call for 4–7 skeins. I might plan to knit mine a bit oversized, just to be able to wear it over anything (especially pyjama pants!). And that rusty colorway in her original sweater has me dreaming of one in “Bitter Sweet.” Don’tcha think? bittersweet_sk

Or maybe big-and-boxy is your thing this Winter (all the better to hide the transgressions of the holidays!). I’m intrigued by “Smackover” by Samantha Stadter — looks like one to pop on and hide in until Spring comes around. Knit it up in a nice neutral like “Greige,” and you’ll be wearing it with everything!
fullsizeoutput_15a8_small2 Check out the other photos on Ravelry – there’s a cool center-front line of decreases that adds a spark of interest and makes for a neat ‘hang’ that takes it beyond the oversized, plain boxy-sweater look.

 

The cool thing about pairing these two yarns – Crackpaca and La Luna DK – this week is that the pattern choices are pretty interchangeable! I was looking for patterns that don’t knit this gauge too ‘open,’ because the silk component in these yarns might make for sloppy, unreliable fabric if knitted too loosely. But in a range of 23-20 sts/4″, a garment you make out of either of these luxurious lovelies should hold their shape through years of wear.

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I love the way La Luna‘s luster shows off depth of color! So let’s look at a few colorful projects that will let you blend and play with some of Tina’s rich colorways.

pb-13e739530f9ae855f87b33effc0bc8029efa31bf_myl-beat-var1-l_l_720x600First up is a bit of colorwork joy: Beat Sweater by Katrin Schneider. I love the geometric motifs across the shoulders and hips – what a fun way to combine two of your favorite colorways! Choose two Shaded Solids that really stand out from one another to maintain the visual impact of the simple lines in this one.

1-136Or go crazy with some Multicolor Waves and fade from one to the other in the Comfort Fade Cardi by none other than the Queen of Fade herself, Andrea Mowry. You get the fun of choosing four colors that relate to one another to create the ‘fading’ effect – I’m toying with going rich and bright with “Cables of Wrath“, “Black to the Fuchsia”, “#shepersisted”, and “Survivor”! (Go big or go home, right?)

But let’s say you had your heart set on a big, lustrous wrap out of La Luna (and why wouldn’t you, really?). Tina and I were both stopped in our tracks this weekend by the prospect of this bit of loveliness to swathe ourselves in:

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Egad, that lace! That texture! That shape! It’s Kempen by Katrin Schneider, and it is a glorious thing. Four skeins of La Luna will get you there – and it’s hard deciding whether you’d have more fun knitting it or wearing it!

Order your skeins of Crackpaca or La Luna DK this week with Tina’s generous code, and you’ll be casting on dreamily with pillows of lustrous loveliness in a few weeks, after the hustle and bustle is over. Enjoy!

Code is: selfknitcareDK  and is good for 15% now until  midnight December 15th!

Happy Knitting!!

have your CAKE and knit it too!

Fruitcake, Yorkshire Christmas Cake … it just seems appropriate to be thinking about cake during December, no?

Well, this knitter has CAKE (Worsted) on her mind, for all sorts of good reasons! So many of us are loving on the softness of Merino right now – she’s the Queen of Wool for many good reasons, right? Tina’s sourced some supremely fine, squishy and scrumptious Merino for the CAKE range of yarns at Blue Moon. (Mmm… sponge cake!)

No, but seriously: once the crunch of holiday gift-knitting frenzy is behind us, wouldn’t it be nice to sit down on the couch and curl up with a generous serving of 560 yards of 100% Merino? … all you’d need is a little whipped cream on the side. (And a 15% off coupon code for your order! Scroll down so you can cut-and-paste that into your next Blue Moon order.)

So while you’re wrapping up and shipping the generous gifts of your labors this holiday season, let yourself dream a little about what you’d like to cast on in January for some ‘selfish’ knitting time. I’ll get your imagination going, shall I?

56538002237__2E871293-4A6F-409F-93AC-EC0C26A4CE08Rosicrucian Scarf by Jocelyn Tunney poured off my needles recently – and I can’t wait to bundle up in it! Honestly, some of the most fun you can have as a knitter is putting together three colors to make a project. (Remember the Color Affection craze?)

Tina’s been having fun with a few of you already, helping you put glorious colors together for this beauty. Check out Jocelyn’s original set of colors: mustard and teal and deep navy, oh my! We both chose to do our beginning triangles in the darkest color of the three, then aimed for a ‘pop’ stripe before heading into the MC.53F-3_small2

Check out my project notes on Ravelry about how I made the most of that skein of Everyday Grey for the MC – I couldn’t do the full set of garter ridges called for in the pattern without a second skein of the MC, so I did a bit of weighing and figgerin’. (If you’d like some help with your own when the time comes, send me a message on Ravelry if my notes aren’t making sense to ya.)

Cool thing about this project is that it leaves you room for more! There’s plenty of yardage left over of your first and second colors (Deep Unrelenting Grey and Snowflake from mine) to do some more fun accessories! I’m plotting a Turn a Square hat to go with mine, and who knows? I’ll probably have enough left over to crank out an 1898 Hat as well.

But wait! My hands always get cold on morning walks; maybe I want to make sure I have enough CAKE to make a pair of Colourblock Mittens to round out my all-grey ensemble. (Yup. Definitely do.)

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But let’s say your ambitions for Selfish Knitting Season are broader … more epic in scope! You’re thinking SWEATER. Something meaty to really stick your needles into and hunker down for a few weeks. Personally, I can’t think of a more enjoyable way to spend the long evenings of January and February than a sweater’s-worth of knitting with CAKE Worsted. (Except perhaps the glorious joy of swanning around Madrona Fiber Arts or Stitches West in February wearing said sweater!)

IMG_6285_medium2What about “Ease” by Alicia Plummer to whet your appetite for winter knitting? The glorious fine softness of Merino deserves to be cushioned right up around your neck in the cowl-neck version, and the plump stitch definition will show off the wide bands of ribbing beautifully. Or, if you live in warmer climates, there’s a beautiful ballet-neck option as well!

Timber1_small2Or let’s say you’re dreaming of snuggling into a cardigan. Shannon Cook’s “Timber” has all the hallmarks of a true classic: clean lines combined with interesting details (plus it looks fantastic with a pair of boots!).

Some of us really want to relax into some gorgeous textured stitches to cleanse our palates, in which case you deserve to treat yourself to “Keera” by Isabell Kraemer. That beautiful lace detail running down the back will keep you engaged and entertained all through the long evenings of winter, and warm after that! detail3keera_2_medium2

Your appetite for CAKE now having been thoroughly whetted, here’s your coupon code so you can order it up and have it at the ready for a post-holiday selfish cast-on party!

for 15% off CAKE Worsted, use code selfknitcare
(good until December 7th, so don’t dither over colors too long!)

Updates and Happenings!

Happy December 1st!

How is it already December 1st?!

okay so I have been quiet because we are so very busy dyeing all the things so everyone has what they need in the time-frame needed. If you have concerns please do email me. I am answering emails in the evenings. I am chained to the dye pots during the day at the moment. Luckily I am a huge fan of dye pots!

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Rockin’ Sock Club:  Email with pdf info will leave here Monday and the yarn will start shipping at the end of next week.  Oh and keep in mind that your discount codes are good until the end of this month!

If you are part of the MidWinter Moon MKAL we have started shipping and unless the powers that wreak some havoc (last week it was no internet for two days) then we will have it all shipped in time for the Dec 7th cast-on. If you are in Canada or another part of the world that is not the US your kits have shipped.

We are slowly but surely (seems to be the theme) getting out the Moon Shadow Anniversary packages. I will be sending out another email update this weekend. If you need them for gifts please let me know.

If you are part of our Out of the Hue Color club and School of Yarn please look for emails this weekend. Yarn we have been waiting on has shown up so we are scrambling to get all the things out. As I have mentioned thank you so very much for your patience and understanding.

As we kit up these moon kits I realize how much I love them all!! We are going to keep them up for sale for a bit longer. So if you want one you still have time. We will not be able to get them to you in time for the MKAL cast-on on December 7th so please keep that in mind. I am so looking forward to seeing how these all knit up in Larissa’s design.

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CabinRose

 

CABIN ROSE COWL by Meaghan Schmultz (unapologetic knitter)

CAST-ON PARTY at TWISTED. Both Meaghan and I will be there and hope to see you also! Monday December 3rd 5-7 as part or their Knit 12 Together  yearly KAL.

I am sure we will have all the knit fun!

 

 

Knitting for Ourselves!!!

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Rosicrucian Scarf by Jocelyn Tunney in CAKE Worsted in colorways Deep Unrelenting Grey, Everyday Grey and Snowflake!

Before we know it we will be in January and selfish knitting month. I like to think of it as self care knitting! Saying it’s selfish makes it seems like it’s not a positive and it most surely is. Anyway from what I see a lot of us are going to be knitting sweaters. Yay!! we are knitting sweaters! There are so many stunning sweater patterns out there right now that’s it’s a bit hard to choose one.

Every week in December starting today, December 1st we are going to feature one of our garment yarns and put is on Special for that week. We will post here on the blog details about each yarn and then have pattern recommendations based each yarn. I know!! How fun right? Our first yarn is super yummy CAKE Worsted. (Yes I made sure is was in stock!) Look at the stitch definition!! So round and wonderful and then add in so very very lofty! Oh my

Special is 15% off until December 7th! Code is: selfknitcare

Check back here this week for so much more on our CAKE friend!