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inspiration Monday: Sandbank

I’ve long wanted to start a series that captures the possibilities of an inspiring design in a Blue Moon yarn. After all, a truly successful project is the marriage of a great design with the proper yarn; and helping customers choose yarns for projects was one of my favorite parts of working in a yarn store. I picked up a lot over the years from customers’ experiences and around the teaching table; seeing customers come in a few weeks or months later wearing their gorgeous FO’s was one of the best perks of the job.

So let’s grab some inspiration from patterns that are out there on Ravelry and in the knitiverse and help each other make beautiful things!

Following the advice of “start where you are,” I’ll dive in with a piece that grabbed me just this morning (I’m particularly vulnerable during my first cup of coffee): “Sandbank,” by my fellow German Lea-Viktoria. Here’s a wide, deep, mildly-crescent-shaped swath of stockinette that’s just crying out for a great colorway. It’s an ingenious center-out construction which lets you knit it entirely in the round and make the most of the yardage you have in a laceweight to light-fingering weight yarn.

image @ Lea-Viktoria

image @ Lea-Viktoria

This piece has a supple rhythm to it which is so beguiling; at first glance, it could be a big rectangle, but it’s curved at the ends. It could be a Faroese-shawl shape, because it has shaping that helps it stay on the shoulders, but it’s not overly huge. Lea-Viktoria says you can wear it like a cardigan or like a big scarf, which would make it super-versatile for wear over a sleeveless summer dress. Or bundle it up around your neck under your winter coat and then let it cover you at your desk in the office before the heating kicks in.

image @ Lea-Viktoria

image @ Lea-Viktoria

 

 

 

 

So let’s talk yarn … what should we knit our Sandbanks out of?

The yarn she used for her sample is a laceweight, with 1722 yards in a 300g skein, and the project is knitted at a gauge of 26 sts = 4″/10cm in stockinette, after blocking. These two bits of information will be vital for us looking to substitute a different yarn.

One of the first impulses customers would have in the shop was to look at the knitted gauge (26=4″) and try to find a yarn with that gauge listed on the ball band. In this instance, that would send you off in search of heavy-fingering to light-sport-weight yarns – the problem being that the resulting piece wouldn’t have any of the lightweight airiness you can see in Lea-Viktoria’s sample photos. See how sheer and flowy it is? If you chose a yarn that was thicker, you’d get heavier, denser fabric – even if you got gauge, your fabric would be different, and the piece perhaps not as wearable.

So the trick is to look at the original yarn used and find a yarn that has similar vital statistics: in this case, laceweight is a good clue… but even among the laceweights, there’s so much variety. You’ve got cobweb-weight, which has a bazillion yards per gram, all the way up to heavier laceweights that could almost be substantial enough for socks. How do you choose?

I like to key in to the number of yards per gram when substituting yarns. Here, her original yarn was 1722 yards per 300g; divide 1722 by 300 and you get a yard/gram ratio of 5.74. Let’s keep that in mind as we prowl the Blue Moon site to consider which batch of yumminess to order for our Sandbank.

The two yarns I’m considering for mine are Silky Laci and La Luna Lace, both scrumptious silk-and-wool blends in the right gauge range (laceweight). How do they stack up?

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Silky Laci is 80% extra fine merino and 20% silk, with a slightly wooly surface texture that’s great at allowing the stitches to grab each other a bit and hold gauge very well when knitted a bit open. Fans of Shetland lace shawls would adore this stuff – it has a very regular spin, and the addition of silk makes it just that little bit special for your heirloom lace pieces. Here, we’re not focused on lace, but even in stockinette the fabric would have a hand that would make it both special but sturdy enough to wear every day. Silky Laci sports a hefty 900 yards per 90g skein, so its yard/g ratio is a whopping 10. Very different from the pattern gauge – if you knitted up a Sandbank in Silky Laci, it would weigh only half as much as the original (around 150g). For those of us knitting in warmer climes, this could make it a wearable piece for at least 2 seasons a year; but you’d want to swatch to make sure you liked the fabric knitted at that gauge. (I’m about to do just that.)

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La Luna Lace is 85% 19.5 micron Merino (in other words, oooooooh) and 15% mulberry silk. Super-soft and silky, with little bitty pearls of twist, this is a dreamboat of a yarn. It has 480 yards per 99g skein, so its yard/g ratio is 4.84 – fewer yards per gram than the pattern’s sample, but still within range for a laceweight, and much closer to the pattern sample’s thickness. La Luna Lace will probably be my first choice for my own Sandbank, if only to showcase the gloriousness of this yarn in a piece so strikingly simple.

Which brings us to the question of color – once you’ve chosen a yarn, how do you choose a color(way), especially from the hundreds of eye-catching candidates at Blue Moon? I’m going to put my designer’s hat on let you in on a little lesson from design school: the relationship of complex to simple. In other words, if you’ve got a design where there are lots of things going on in terms of pattern or texture, you’re best served to keep the colorway(s) simple. Or vice-versa: in a relatively uncomplicated piece like Sandbank, you have more leeway to play with complexities of color. (Swaths of stockinette, especially where the stitch counts change as things increase, are a great platform for multicolors, and won’t muddy the design the way texture + tons of color can.)

That being said, this is a BIG piece, so bear in mind the visual impact it can make walking down the street! While you can play with some of the more active multicolor wave colorways (the ones that bring in four or five hues, or incorporate most of the color wheel), you might get more wear out of the more tonal or two- to three-color multis.

Me, I’m toying with either ‘Hush’:hush_sk

 or ‘Murky Chi’: 
murky_chi_sk

Both would play beautifully in my mostly-grey wardrobe, and the wash of grey-to-color around the stockinette body of the piece would be enchanting, dont’cha think?

What colors would you choose? I’m off to ponder over my next cup of coffee.

Feeling inspired by a design, but don’t know what yarn to use? Pop your ideas in the comments and hopefully I can chat about them in upcoming Inspiration Mondays!

summertime, and the knitting is bulky

Fresh strawberries in the Farmer’s Market can mean only one thing – we are indeed in full summer mode (even here in the overcast Pacific NW). Are you taking advantage of the longer, warmer evenings outside and knitting al fresco?IMG_0831

This week, I get extra points for matching my knitting to my produce! Amélie is a delightful shot of ripe red on the greys I love so much. And are those some super-deep greens in there as well? I’m enchanted.

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But wait – what’s that yarn? No summer laceweights over here; I’ve gone bulky. Targhee Bulky, to be precise. It might seem a strange choice for the warmer season, but bear with me. There’s a logic here.

You see, last year (as indeed, many years before), I got slammed by November and December. Like so many of you generous creative souls, I get sucked into the romantic and extravagant notion of handmade holiday gifts… completely forgetting how busy that season is to begin with, and that I only have two hands. *And* that my brother’s birthday falls inconveniently within the one-month window before Christmas, so there are those socks to finish…

It never fails. Seems like every year I get sucked into the vortex of make-make-MAKE!!, which would be lovely if it weren’t condensed into too-few weeks at the end of the calendar.

Of course, wiser souls than I have devised a solution: “Christmas in July” should save us from this trauma, if we would only be wise enough to actually start.

So here I am, knitting with bulky yarn at the peak of the year. Which is quite fun, really, when you think about it – no-one in my family needs a bulky-weight sweater, since we live up and down the West Coast. So this single skein of Targhee Bulky, with its 462 yards, is enough to make a whole raft of accessories. Thanks to Joji Locatelli’s timely Instagram post, I’ve whipped up a Man Hat for my stepdaughter when she walks the dogs this winter. (That’s the top of it, below – tidy, isn’t it?) I’ll have enough left to make a Boyfriend Watch Cap for my sister-in-law, and if I play my cards right and can get gauge, a pair of Ferryboat Mitts to go with! (And if the Targhee Bulky is a bit too thick to get gauge for the Mitts, I can always get a skein of Targhee Worsted to match!)

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I love hats and fingerless mitts as presents … they’re tasty little nuggets of knitting that you can take with you to the park or the beach, and just before you have time to get bored and reach for your fat summer novel instead, BOOM! – they’re done. Wrap them up and pop a gift card on ’em and you’ll even spare yourself that step come December!

Take a page out of my mom’s book and label one cupboard ‘The Gift Shoppe’ – pop all your pre-wrapped gifts in there and put a padlock on it if you’ve got wee ones in the house (or those who are easily tempted to peek). It’s such a nice feeling that you’re on your way to the holidays already.

It also means that we’re not putting the squeeze on Tina and her team, asking them to dye faster come October and November. My failure to plan shouldn’t mean more pressure for them, after all.… Let’s give everyone a breather and start planning that generous knitting today, shall we?

Do you have favorite, go-to patterns for gift knitting? If so, please mention them in the comments – I’m always looking for new, fun things to knit. Maybe we can collect a big list of our favorites and I can post the whole she-bang come July!

If you get your gift ideas all set and order your yarns now, Tina and the Barn Gals can have your yarn to you in a few short weeks and you’ll be whipping up presents in July faster than you can whip cream to go on those berries.

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WWKIP, Anniversaries…. and the winners are!!!

Saturday is Worldwide Knit in Public Day!!! Where are you going to be knitting? I am going to be at the Salem Public Library with the Salem Area Ravelers.  I am going to be there with Maggie with some of our Socks that Rock Mill Ends and Rare Gems and maybe a few other treasures.

I talking about Blue Moon and our ever evolving industry. If you are in the area please do come by  and say hi and sit and knit a spell in…public. Public Library kind of public!!!

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There are so many anniversaries.

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Simply Socks is celebrating 12 years for spreading the sock knitting love.  We are joyfully celebrating with them by creating them a super exclusive colorway to go with a seriously cool mug!

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So pretty together!

And we also are running an exclusive-limited-engagement yarn special. Colossal Sock is quite the yarn and quite the skein! 600 yds ( 150 grams) of  lovely  100%  Superwash Merino with a nice twist that makes it good for socks or shawls or hats or gloves or baby knits. It’s got a nice boing factor which we love and a nice light hand.

Happy Anniversary to Allison and her lovely team!!

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Twisted is celebrating 10 years of supplying the greater Portland metro area with all kinds of fiber related goodness and fun.  And we are pleased as punch to being joing in the festivities!!!

We’ve created them a very very special colorway to commemorate the occasion.

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Twisted’s 10th Anniversary Speck-tacular!! I love this colorway so much. It just makes me happy. I took the ball of yarn graphic part of their logo and blew it up so I could pick out all the colors and then I speckled  the heck out of a few skeins of yarn with them.  They are exclusive to Twisted so check out their website for pre-orders and of course there will be some at  Twisted next week!! Along With Maggie and I who will be there to chat and take pictures with the photo-booth and I will bring my color fortune telling mojo. It’s going to be all kinds of fun. Please bring your Blue Moon knit and especially socks for pics!!!

Happy Anniversary Twisted!!!! You’re the bomb!

Okay so I was supposed to announce winners last week and well to be honest it took me longer to recover from birthday celebrating than I thought. Also it just kept going and going!

Thank you all so much for playing along. You brightened my week so very much!

Here are “I  made it to 60 bitches” birthday give-away winners!

Here’s a pic of the wonderful and super sassy mugs from the oh so lovely and talented ladies at JaMpdx!

Mug with Yarn winners:

Cindy Mooney, Gwen Toma, Katie Dugger, Kathie Harris, Cassandra Paul and Cara Davis

Bag with Yarn winners:

Kristin May, Courtney Pierce, Mitra Emand and Sara Hoffee

So this is not written in stone. If you want a bag and not a mug just let me know. I do have 6 mugs and 4 bags. I am picking up bags today and will add a picture of them when I do. Thanks so much for playing along. I will email all of you this weekend with choices and such. Thank you for playing along!

and…. then   Ashley H, Pedora1, Tinkingbell and stephi gordon I will be cooking up some colorways for you in the next few weeks!  Love your color stories. Thanks for taking the time to share!

Phew….that is a whole lot.

We got a little backed up with orders from all of this. We will be shipping most of them out on Monday!!!

Keep in mind that the price increase is Monday the 19th.

Have you singed up for Tour de Sock??? There is still time!!

Also we still have plenty or room in both of  Dye Camp Sessions. It’s is a grand and colorful time!

Okay I am off to pack up for tomorrow’s knit adventure in Salem! I hope to see you there.

on the needles and dreaming

June — whaa? already?!

There’s that bit of anticipation in the air — even for those of us without school-age kids at home (mine’s turning THIRTY this weekend!), you can feel the vibe. Something’s about to pop.

Vay-CAY!

Whether you’re packing up the old jalopy and headed out on the road soon, or you wish you were and you’re catching the end-of-school-year buzz, it’s always good to have a delicious little project to work on or look forward to. Little portable, one-skein nibbles that you can take with you, even if it’s just out on the back porch with a refreshing beverage.

I’ve got two on the radar that are making my needles twitch — and when Tina was up visiting me for her colossally-sunny birthday weekend, I could resist no more and had to Cast.On.Now: a Pinking Shears Scarf with a delicious single skein of Socks that Rock™ in “Autumn’s Up.”
IMG_0759The pattern is written for a laceweight or light fingering weight, so if you wanted to work it as written, you could delve into some yummy Featherlight (ooh – the sheen of that single ply in this simple pattern? Divine!).

With Socks that Rock, I upped the needle size to a US7/4.5mm. Fun thing about this pattern is, you start at the point and work your way toward the middle – so your beginning can be like your swatch! And after a few inches or so, you’ve got enough fabric to gauge whether or not you like that needle size – and it’s not too too painful to rip out. (Pro tip: don’t rip out your first attempt – save it for comparison. Take the other end of the ball and start with the next needle size you want to try; work for a few inches and then compare the two. Bonus: it’s not as painful to rip out the one you don’t like when you’ve got the new and better one started already!) (Or maybe I’m just good at rationalizing?)

If you have two skeins of the same colorway, lucky you! You can make a lovely large Pinking Shears Scarf. If you’ve got just the one skein, be sure to WEIGH your skein on a kitchen/gram scale before you start and note down the full skein weight, because you’ll want to stop when you’ve used up a little less than half your skein. This scarf differs from Hitchhiker in that you knit two identical pieces and graft it in the center for a triangular shape that’s skinny at both ends and thick in the middle.

Once you’ve knitted a few inches on this thing, it’s super-intuitive — and the Churchmouse design team have left notes in the pattern about how to use a stitch marker to help you remember which row you’re on, which is helpful when the sun goes over the yardarm and the adult beverages come out!

 

But maybe ‘vacation’ for you means some free space and free brain time and you want a project you can really dive into, with a little chart perhaps? Like a big, fat novel with lots of characters to get to know, lace or charted knitting gives your brain a little world to explore, and the hours can just zoom by as you’re in that ‘flow’ state.

My favorite new pattern this week on Ravelry for just such an occasion would be Martina Behm’s Green Light Shawl:

Image ©Martina Behm

Image ©Martina Behm

As she says on the Ravelry pattern page, Green Light is “a nice project to start at home and take on vacation: Work on the mindless and relaxing garter stitch part while still at home and working, and save the slightly more complicated lace part for when you have arrived at your destination, are relaxed and have lots of time to knit the lace border in your deck chair.” Boy, has she tapped into the Zeitgeist of early summer or what?

I am literally chomping at the bit to get one of these on the needles in Silky Laci. When I was working on Let the Light In last spring, Silky Laci was new and I only got to swatch it — the luster and sheen that the silk adds to the merino is really out of this world. It’s begging to be shown off in something as elegantly simple as Green Light. And I just happen to have a skein in “Golly” that would be dead-elegant over my coat come Fall! (Which is probably when I’d have it finished to wear, given the major case of cast-on-itis I’ve got right now.) At an astounding 900 yards per skein, Silky Laci is a no-brainer for this shawl — wind it up, pop some needles in a cute project bag, and you’re set for some great knitting, wherever your final vacation destination may take you.

Now if anyone needs me, I’ll be out on the back deck with one of those refreshing beverages…

Happy Summer, y’all!

I am here! I am here! I am here!!!

I am in the place of my heart for 5 whole days!! Seriously happy and can think of no better way to celebrate 60 years of being. Going to spend a whole lot of time walking on the beach and communing with my friend the ocean and playing with my buddies Karen and Michael. Yup, pretty happy.

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New colorways are up!!!! ( Actually I thought they were but they are not. They will be in a few hours)

I am a big Guardians of the Galaxy fan so of course I had to translate that love onto yarn! I have been torturing everyone I know with ” I am Groot” texts. Baby Groot is beyond charming and seriously adorable!

I have also added a new Tipsy to our Tipsy Clan, Delilah Dixie Tipsy. Delilah Dixie has a a fiery rebellious streak that is sure to burn a little if you happen get on her wrong side. Otherwise she is loyal to a fault and the fiercest friend a girl could ask for!

And.. last but not least my ” I made it to 60 bitches!” birthday colorway.

" I made it to 60 bitches!"

” I made it to 60 bitches!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As usual there’s a bit of the back story on this one based on a text exchange with Shannon.

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I went with it! Stared with the color that flows through my veins Pond Scum and added it’s bestie Deep Unrelenting Grey and then went from there riding the line between muddy and sassy! I think I got it. I love it quite a bit and…it goes with last years birthday colorway depraveDyer’s Birthday Sprinkles pretty well and is most definitely pond-scummy dirty as Shanno suggested.

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See?!!!

The mug is one of the mugs in our giveaway!!!

I am reposting the fun and games info from last week!!!

Okay now unto the fact that on May 29th I turn 60 years old. I know…how did that happen. Actually I am pretty thrilled to be here to turn 60 so I am celebrating with everything that I have and I would love for you to join me. Some of what I have a lot of is, love and gratitude laced with a fair bit of quirky.  So we are going to be spreading both of these around in the next week.

 

One of the ways we are going to do this is that everyone person who order from this moment in time until midnight May 31st gets a love note postcard from me in their package with a 10% off coupon good for your next order!  We will also be randomly choosing from all of those orders 6 of you that win a skein of Socks that Rock of your choosing in a wonderful JAMPDX mug. We will also be choosing another 4 that will win a skein of our Yaksi Fingeringweight yarn in the color of your choice in a lovely Queen Bee bag! I know! I totally want to win these!

And…if that were not enough and it is not.  We are also doing daily instagram giveaways with sharing themes like favo color and movies and such. Here is our instagram feed.

It’s been awhile since we had a tell me your color story and I will make you a colorway game so we are going to do that here on the blog.

What you do is tell me a color story.  I love a good story!!! I am not going to give you any limits this time. It can be any kind of story as long as you are descriptive.

Try not to make it too long. I am in the process of training three new dyers so my attention span is a little low at the end of the day. Also that whole turning 60 thing!! You have until June 1st. Then I will choose 4 of these stories and I will create them in living color on yarn and then send you a skein!!

Okay I think that covers everything I wanted to share.

I hear the ocean calling and who am I to keep the ocean waiting?!

Thank you all for all of the love and birthday wishes!

Have a great weekend!

Color change and Birthday Celebrating!!!

Well I was going to start this post all about turning 60 and everything that goes along with that but then I walked outside and noticed very, very bad smell.

I am pretty sure that either there was a skunk incident on my front porch last night and it was afraid and then let it’s fear fly or it crawled under my porch and died or ( and this makes me wanna cry ) a skunk has decided to nest under my porch.

I am seriously hoping it is not the latter. I have a small dog and three cats and the chickens and the cats would surely get sprayed  and then there’s the fact that skunks really really like chickens. Oy. So this weekend I get to figure this all out. I have my fingers crossed and am hoping the smell goes away and that is the end of it.

So a few newsy things first. If you are a Rockin’ Whorl Club member we were going to ship out early in the week by the locks were not dry. It has taken all week for them to dry and I have a huge dehumidifier in the dye barn. I am to blame I thought I had previously washed these but I had not! Anyway we will be packing it all up this weekend and shipping it out to you on Monday!   Thank you for your patience!

As I mentioned in last weeks newsletter our new price list will be going into effect on June 19th.

Rockin’ Sock Club members you might want to use your 20% off coupon code before the 19th to take advantage of the current prices. we are raising prices a ton but every little bit helps.

We have a few specials going on right now.

We have TREATYOURMOMSELF 15% off good until Monday May 22nd and…

springtwistalong  25% off our Seduction and La Luna Lace for the Spring Hiatus Twist KAL good until June 1st.

And then starting June 1 we have our Tour de Sock KAL discount which is good from June 1st to July first and you can find once you sign up for the KAL.

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Also I made two new colorways for this years Tour de Sock. I hope you love them as much as I do. I’m having a whole lot of fun with orange right now! One of the new colorways I am putting up next week is a new Tipsy colorway, an orange one!!

 

It time for a color change!!

Here’s a list of the colorways that are going to have a bit of a vacation starting Monday!

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Okay now unto the fact that on May 29th I turn 60 years old. I know…how did that happen. Actually I am pretty thrilled to be here to turn 60 so I am celebrating with everything that I have and I would love for you to join me. Some of what I have a lot of is, love and gratitude laced with a fair bit of quirky.  So we are going to be spreading both of these around in the next week.

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One of the ways we are going to do this is that everyone person who order from this moment in time until midnight May 31st gets a love note postcard from me in their package with a 10% off coupon good for your next order!  We will also be randomly choosing from all of those orders 6 of you that win a skein of Socks that Rock of your choosing in a wonderful JAMPDX mug. We will also be choosing another 4 that will win a skein of our Yaksi Fingeringweight yarn in the color of your choice in a lovely Queen Bee bag! I know! I totally want to win these!

And…if that were not enough and it is not. I would like to play an instagram game I just have not quite figured it out yet so stay tuned in the next few days for that! Here is our instagram feed.

It’s been awhile since we had a tell me your color story and I will make you a colorway game so we are going to do that here on the blog.

What you do is tell me a color story.  I love a good story!!! I am not going to give you any limits this time. It can be any kind of story as long as you are descriptive.

Try not to make it too long. I am in the process of training three new dyers so my attention span is a little low at the end of the day. Also that whole turning 60 thing!! You have until June 1st. Then I will choose 4 of these stories and I will create them in living color on yarn.

yay!!!!

So much fun!!!

Oh I almost forgot. We have our dye camp sessions up!!!

You can dye your own fade!!!!

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Have a great weekend. Enjoy the sunshine. Oh and….if you need a lovely get away in a beautiful place with lovely people and yarn and good food and dyeing with me then check out Lorilee’s Knitting  on a Lark Retreat in July.

Have a lovely weekend!

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All the KALS and MS&W

I have a lot to tell you so I am just going to jump in!

It’s Spring and so it is that time of year again where our outdoor fiber festivals begin which means this weekend is The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!!! 

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My buddy Toni Neil of the The Fold has a booth ( barn 3, booth 18)  chocked full of Blue Moon yarn. We sent here the new bases Cake and La Luna both. She has most of the Buffy colorways in Socks that Rock and in Super Sparkle and Yaksi Fingering with coordinating shaded solids in Cloud Nine in case you want to join our SLAY ME KAL!!

Stop by and say hi to Toni and her wonderful crew!! I am so very grateful to Toni for being Blue Moon’s absolutely wonderful rep at shows and most especially this one.

If you are not going to be at Maryland and are feeling a little low over it do not fret we have so much going on you will not feel left out.

Of course we have the SLAY ME Kal with Shannon that is going on. It has started but hey, it is never too late to join the fun.

I am so loving all of the Buffy combo’s. This Angelus one with the contrasting color in Robin’s Egg Blue – Cloud Nine just makes me happy!

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So Pretty!  I love this shawl Shannon. Buffy would be proud!!

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Speaking of KALS… . Twist Collective is on a Spring Hiatus and they are sponsoring a KAL. We are bug Twist Collective fans so we thought we would join the fun. The idea is you choose a favorite design from the magazine to knit, then to sign-up on their FB page and RAV group to join the collective fun. Oh and Kate has posted that their are prizes!! I think you have to post to facebook to be eligible for those.

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One of my all time favorite designs from Twist Collective is the stellar Celestarium by Audry Nicklin from the Winter 2012 issue and knit in our Seduction yarn in a Raven colorway. If you missed this piece of constellation knit wonder when it was first published than now you get another chance to knit and then wear this beauty of a shawl.

Photo Credit: Jane Heller

We are offering a 25 % discount on Seduction and our La Luna Lace  for the month of May. The discount code is: springtwistalong  is in effect until June 1st.  What better time to knit the night sky than during the Spring and Summer when we are out enjoying it? Our very own Maggie will knit-a-long with whoever wants to joins the fun.

Photo Credit: Jane Heller

Okay…one more KAL to go for this post at least.

I am sure you’ve all seen that Joji  has a new MKAL coming up very very soon, Starting Point. We are a little late to the party but could not resist joining in the color combining fun. If you look in the header you will see a few of the color quintets we have put together. I think any of our fingering weight yarns would work but… really I like the idea of such a big piece like like this seems to be knit with our Featherlight yarn.

When ordering if you want your yarn asap please only order the yarn you need for this and you will get it sooner!  Oh, and if you have yarn you want to use in your stash and need help with color additions please let me know! info@bluemoonfiberarts.com

We have chosen a Barn Sale and Dye Day Date for those of you who’ve been asking. You are going to want to be at this one.

Barn Sale and Dye Day is  Saturday August 5th. If you want to dye  please sign up as soon as you can. the slots fill up very quickly.

Okay I think that is all for now. I have finally found all the dyers I need right now so our team is shaping up quite nicely. Once I get them all trained we will be planning all sorts of knit fun!!

Have a great weekend my knit friends!! When the world around us gets a little too much remember there is always knitting!

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A few good things….

Hey there,

It feels like a long time since I posted. I don’t think it actually has been it just feels that way. Life has been full and busy and a little crazy and when that is the case time seems to flow quite rapidly.

I have a lot to I want to talk about so I am going to jump right in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The barn is just humming along with all kinds of color joy. We are busy dyeing all of your beautiful color combo’s for the Buffy KAL. We’ve already shipped out some of the early bird orders and will be shipping more out tomorrow and Monday.  If you would like to join our slayer of a KAL there is still time. The 15% coupon code  ( which you get when you purchase the pattern) doesn’t expire until this weekend on the 22nd which gives us plenty of time to get you your yarn for Shannon’s May cast-on date.

I can’t tell  you how thrilled I am that you all love my Buffy colorways as much as I do. I love that some of you are ordering the whole set. I would too. I might be keep the set I used for the photos in a nice safe place where I can see them. I did the same thing with the Ravens. Actually I still have the original set of Ravens.

Anyway Shannon and her lovely husband Stefan took some seriously fun photos. I so wish I could have been in on that photo shoot!

So much fun and what a stunning and sassy shawl! Just perfect for a little late night slaying. Slay Me KAL pattern page.

If you need color choosing help you can look at what we have put together here on this post. Also you can email me at info@bluemoonfiberarts.com                                                    I am always happy to help with color choices.

Speaking of color. I’ve been getting a whole bunch of requests for color help for Andrea Mowry’s  lovely Fade knit series, So Faded and Find your Fade.  So I am going to put together a few color schemes so look for those next week.

Okay so I know I promised a Dye Class/Camp Schedule quite awhile ago. I am in the process. I just have some family stuff I need to work around so I have been trying to firm that up before posting dates.

We will be having our yearly Dye Days and Barn Sale in early August this year.

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In early July ( 6-9)  I will be on Bainbridge Island at the magical Islandwood with Lorilee Beltman teaching eco printing!!! I know. Pretty exciting.

You can read about all of fun and details  Knitting on a Lark retreat info here.

Here is my class description.

Color Magic

Join me as we explore the magical alchemy that is color on fiber with plants. In this three-hour class we are going to be experimenting with Eco Printing, otherwise know as “botanical contact printing”.
Petals, berries, seeds, bark, leaves, roots and stems hold all sorts of color mysteries. We are going to explore these mysteries with some creative mordanting and a little steam on: a cotton hanky, a wool yarn blank and also a skein of silk blend yarn. I seriously can’t think of a better place to learn more about plant color and printing than on the island oasis that is Island Wood.
What you need for this class is a sense of adventure, a love of color and an apron or a t-shirt that you don’t mind getting messy. Dyeing is a creative messy business!
You will leave with a new appreciation of the plants and a hanky, yarn blank and skein as affirmation that you can knit and wear!  Since our time is going to be full of dyeing we will also provide you with a set with class notes.
Lorilee has all kinds of other knit fun planned. Plus great food and a cooking class and …s’mores in a stunning place with wonderful people!
I hope you’ll join us for what is sure to be a wonderful time.
 Have a great weekend!
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merino madness

Can you feel it? Spring must have sprung! I know, because now I’m casting on ALL.THE.THINGS!

These two bouncy bits of deliciousness are keeping me company in my knitting corner today – so much squishy delicious merino in one place I can barely stand it!

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In the foreground is the full-on plump deliciousness of CAKE DK, on the needles as the tender beginnings of Hunter Hammersen’s Compunction mitts. (Those slipped stitches that look like diagonal twisted stitches? Genius!) Can’t wait to knit up the whole set, hat and mitts – and by then it will probably even be warm enough in this leftmost upper corner of the US to not need them for morning walks. Oh well; that’s a decent tradeoff for warm Springlike weather, eh?

And in the background? My first chance to take La Luna DK for an official spin! Tina and I prowled cowl patterns on Ravelry, and found a super-fun one to whip up as a sample for you lucky ducks going to Maryland Sheep & Wool next month! The colorway is “Calendula” and it’s the happiest of slap-happy yellowy-orange shades (and that’s saying a lot from this connoisseur of orange!).

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I gotta say, if April is still in lion mode where you are, you can beat the where-the-heck-is-Spring doldrums with some bouncy, plump, squishy merino. The only way to make it any better? YouTube videos of baby lambs. Because there’s no such thing as too much bouncy, happy merino-sheepyness!

Happy spring holiday weekend, everyone!

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Let Them Knit Cake

I don’t know about you, but I call a skein that’s been wound on a ball winder a “cake” of yarn. Often to giggles and smiles from knitters – and a few jokes about calories.

But now Tina’s done us one better: she’s given us not one, but TWO yarns called CAKE…!!

Only super-delicious merino could deserve such an appellation. This is bouncy, happy fiber at its yummiest best. Every time I think about ways to describe Cake Worsted and Cake DK, I come up with images of ultra-happy, puffy, clean things: like fluffy cosmetic puffs, or a baby’s head right after a bath, or fat ducklings waddling after their mamas.

Yup, they are that happy and bouncy.

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CAKE Worsted is a plump 4-ply (four plies, four candles – get it?!) that knits up like a dream in the light-worsted range. I did a series of swatches from a size US6 (4mm) to a US8 (5mm), and got great, balanced stitches throughout. On the smaller needle sizes, you get crisp stitch definition and fantastic snap-back, and a gauge around 20 sts x 31 rows per 4″/10cm. Great for pullovers and cardigans where you want a little body without a ton of weight. There’s so much buoyancy in here (hence the comparison to fluffy cotton balls)!

On the looser end of the worsted range, I was geting a more fluid fabric that still wasn’t sheer, and had great integrity for all that it was opened up. A US8 got me 17 sts x 27 rows – and a perfect fabric for open, drapey cardigans or fun accessories.

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Speaking of fun accessories, I couldn’t wait to cast on for a cozy cowl, and my internet buddy pariserlandluft fulfilled my wishes with a brand-new pattern, i_n_t_a.

Simple columns of twisted stitches on a field of reverse stockinette really let this yarn show off its great stitch definition. And it was such a pleasure and simple to knit that it was done nearly before I knew it! I would highly recommend this as a tasty way to try out CAKE Worsted. “Just a slice for me, thanks.” “Oh another? I couldn’t possibly… well, if you insist.”

Pert and springy on the needles, the fabric of this cowl just relaxed and softened with blocking. Now I can hardly bear to take it off (good thing April’s coming in like a lion as we speak! Winter woolies can’t go in the closet just yet.)

unnamed-4CAKE DK is a 3-ply, with a tiny bit more halo than the Worsted. It’s so drapey and soft, you’d think there’s some alpaca or other long-staple fiber in there. But its merino pedigree shines through when you knit it through its gauge range and block your swatches – pert and bouncy to start, your swatches will relax with blocking and just transition into the most gorgeous flowy-yet-reliable fabric imaginable.

I swatched it on a range of needles from US4 (3.5mm) to US7 (4.5mm), and the fabric is lovely throughout the range. Down on the smaller needle sizes, you’ll get a true DK gauge (22 sts in 4″/10cm) and a fabric that has integrity with flow – perfect for cardigans or pullovers. Opened up a bit, you can get close to a tight-light-worsted gauge (around 20.5 sts) with a ton of drape. I’m sure there are a few sweaters in the new Cocoknits Sweater Workshop that I just have to try in Cake DK. Or maybe the new Churchmouse Quintessential Cardigan…? As I told Tina after swatching both CAKES – this might just be my ultimate sweater yarn. (And that’s saying a lot – this girl loves her some sweaters!)

In the meantime, I’m taking the rest of this skein and casting on Hunter Hammersen’s Compunction mitts. All those great twisted/traveling stitches should knit up a dream!

No matter how you slice it, CAKE is a fantastic new range of yarns – I can’t wait for you all to serve yourself up a skein and eat … I mean knit it all up!

Dang. All this talk of CAKE got me so hungry, a girl had to go bake herself one to dig into while we cast on! unnamed-5

Happy birthday, CAKE!

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