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in praise of SilkMo

I love it when a yarn and a project come together in perfect harmony. It’s a little slice of knitter’s heaven. And I found two such combinations recently! Double-dose of heavenly goodness.

May I turn your attention, Fair Knitter, to the fluffy wonder that is SilkMo?

It might not have crossed your radar recently – but let me tell you, it should have. Mohair has a bit of magic to it: the stickiness of the fuzzy ‘halo’ around the core fiber (silk, in this case, just to gild the lily) lets you knit it on bigger needles than you think you ought, for a fabric that is light-as-air and oh-so-warm.

Tina describes SilkMo as “soft, furry, goodness,” and boy is that apt. As you knit with this yarn and the project grows, you find yourself stopping to pet the fabric, like a cat in your lap. The knitting just gets better when you make it mindless – just a bit of stockinette in the round, and round and round, so you can meditate and drift off into your happy place.

IMG_0009So here’s my offering of a perfect marriage of yarn and project: Alexandra’s Airplane Scarf by Churchmouse Yarns & Teas in SilkMo (This is colorway “Heckley Speckley.”) Pattern calls for a bit more than 800 yards – and lo and behold, SilkMo’s generous skein boasts 794! Knits up beautifully (and surprisingly quickly) on US8/5mm needles – and the joy is, once you’ve cast on, it’s just round and round and round you go! Nothing to fuss with, nothing to worry about; just stockinette until you bind off. It was fun for me to see how many places and opportunities I had to pick this up and knit it: after lunch at my mother-in-law’s; watching “Gilmore Girls” with friends; over a glass of wine after dinner … Mindless knitting fits in just about anywhere!

And the result? A light-as-air, warm-as-a-down-comforter scarf that’s wide and long enough to keep you warm in the worst of winters without adding a ton of bulk. The gang at Churchmouse named it ‘Alexandra’s Airplane Scarf’ because the gal who brought them the original idea loved to knit them on cross-country plane flights… and because the fabric is so fluffy and light that it’s the perfect piece to pack to wear on a long trip. It would take up almost no room at all in your suitcase, yet be the perfect thing to throw over a dress or under a coat to keep you warm as you wander back to your hotel from the sidewalk café in your favorite European city.

Want to play with SilkMo in a different way? I’ve got another great project for you: pair SilkMo with IMG_0011Targhee Worsted, and you have a fantastic combination that’s ideal for another Churchmouse pattern: the Picot-Edged Mohair Throw & Afghan. SilkMo held with Targhee Worsted is the ideal gauge for the ‘super-chunky’ option on this pattern, and it works up lickety-split on size US15/10mm needles.

The pattern gives you the option to work picots at the edges or not (my sample, started here in colorway “Motley Hue“, is without picots), and the choice of two sizes: Throw (42″x42″) or Afghan (52″x52”). But I’ll let you in on a little (not-so) secret: since this piece is knitted from one small corner out to the center width and then back down to the opposite corner, you can make it as large or as small as your yardage (or patience) allow!

With 2 skeins of SilkMo and 2 skeins of Targhee Worsted in the same colorway, you can make the Throw size or something a bit larger; the trick is to start the decrease section before you run out of yarn in your first skein of Targhee. If you want the Afghan size, or something large enough to really cuddle several people under, you can get one more skein of Targhee and start the decrease section before your first skein of SilkMo runs out.

Oh, and if you want tassels on all four corners, make them before you begin knitting so you can really maximize your yarn usage: hold a strand of SilkMo and a strand of Targhee together and wrap them around a hardback book of the right size. Wrap and wrap and wrap until you have an ample chunk, then take a separate strand and slide it under the top fold before you cut the bottom fold; take another separate strand to make the ‘neck’ of the tassel, tie that off securely and give it a haircut! Two tassels from one set of skeins and two tassels from the other set of skeins will ensure that you can still knit from one set of skeins to the middle of the project as described above.

Whether ‘Winter is coming’ to where you are, or it’s already arrived, now is the time to try knitting with SilkMo – it’ll warm you twice, once during the knitting, and a second time during the wearing! (Plus, knitting’s a lot easier than cutting firewood.)

 

 

A little lighthearted knit fun!

One of the parts of my job that I really, really, really love is creating themed colorways! I especially like doing so with the designers and stores we work with. Usually I get a theme form and maybe some photos or we come up with a theme together and then am asked to put my spin on it. It’s the translation and the challenge of it all that I so love. I do love me a good color challenge. Of course themes speak to me and are more fun than others. However there is always that challenge aspect that pulls me in right in and inspires me.

I am sure the over 11 years I’ve spent dreaming up themes and colorways for our notorious knitters in our Rockin’Sock Club kind of trained me for this kind of color work and play.

Here is a current list of the stores that I am working pretty intimately with on pretty large color projects.

For years I have designed colorways for Twisted in Portland for the Rose City Yarn Crawl. We plan on expanding that this year with some PDX themed one also.

I have created all kinds of club type kits for both Simply Socks Yarn Company and The Loopy Ewe. Most of these have been one-time-only hues only available for a very short period of time.

Last year I started working The Loopy Ewe on a once a month specific colorway based on Sheri Berger husband’s photography. He’s a brilliant photographer so it is all kinds of fun to go through his files and choose pics that bot Sheri and I are inspired by and then translate all that beauty onto yarn. We had so much fun we are doing it again this year. We are doing this again this year. So look for those colorways mid-month of the Loopy Ewe site.

We also work with Erin Walker and her ridiculously fun team at Eat Sleep Knit on their Yarnathon
Last year they had a space theme which was pretty great since I am a big Trekkie and Rd Who fan.
This year though has just been a blast because the theme is the game Candyland which was my favorite game as a child. We have come up with 9 count them…NINE special Candyland inspired hues. I did a ton of research on these. I used the older board that I was more familiar with for my inspiration and of course also tons of feedback from Emily Ann and the rest of the ESK team. Yes, as you can tell I am pretty excited! How could you not with characters like Lord Licorice and his bitter bats and Mr. Mint and of course his royal sweetness himself the Imperial Head Bonbon King of Candyland.
Here they are in all of there color glory!
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I cannot tell you just how tickled I am with these. The colors and the names and just every little thing about them. If you do not know about the Yarnathon do check it out it looks to be all kinds of fun. Look at the board they made!!
Gameboard

So very much fun!!!!

Okay so that is it for now! I will do my very best to post here or on instagram when one of our stores has a colorway of ours to introduce.

Oh…almost forgot there is still time to join us for our themed color project the 12th year of the sock club for Sock Opera the Musical!

Knit on!!!

sock it to 2017!

We’re putting the finishing touches on 2016 (and some would say ‘thank goodness!’). Right after we slide through the holidays, we’ll be looking onto clean, blank calendar pages – one of my favorite times of year. Fresh starts! Clean slates! So many possibilities!

It’s natural for us to think about improving things, doing it better in the new year. Better food choices are a natural starting point – but what about better knitting choices? What would you like to do to make 2017 your best, most productive knitting year?

I’m gonna start the ball rolling with socks. It’s no secret that BlueMoonLand loves its socks: they’re an endless platform for creativity (as our legion of sock designers from the Rockin’ Sock Club will attest); they’re portable; and they have so many interesting steps that you don’t have time to get bored!

Combine all that with Tina’s wicked sense of color humor and you’ve got a match made in heaven for a super-fun and productive Year In Socks!

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Supreme Black Dalek in Tigger Targhee is ready to take on 2017!

Let’s think of all the great ways you could take on a Year In Socks:

  1. The Pair-a-Month Challenge: knit up a pair of socks each month and you’ll have a full sock drawer by the end of the year! A friend of mine is on Pair #12 for his 2016 challenge, and he’s thrilled with what he’s accomplished. Pairs for himself, for his partner, for his mom … and a memory of a month in time attached to each one!
  2. The Gifting Challenge: Isn’t this the time of year where you say “Next year, I won’t try to knit all my holiday gifts between Thanksgiving and Christmas!”? Wise thought, but how to make sure that happens? Do a variation of #1 above: make a list of each of your loved ones who are ‘sockworthy.’ Knit a pair a month, wrap them when you’re done (don’t forget to label who they’re for!), and hide them in the cupboard marked ‘Gift Shoppe.’ Come the holidays, you’ll have a trove of pre-wrapped presents all ready to gift – and you can spend December relaxing, taking walks – or casting on a pair of socks for yourself!
  3. The Skill-Builder Challenge: Socks are such a nice, compact place to learn a new skill. Never tried lace? or cables? or reading a chart? There’s bound to be a great sock pattern out there that incorporates some new technique you want to know. And while you might struggle a bit through the first sock when the technique is new, by the time you hit the second sock you’ll be much more comfortable – and ready to take that technique off into the world of bigger projects, like sweaters!
  4. The Try-a-New-Tool Challenge: Stuck on two circulars? Try a pair on Magic Loop! Never tried double-points? Want to learn how to knit TAAT (Two-At-A-Time)? Any tool can be used for any sock pattern – why not get comfortable on all of them?
  5. The Play-with-Color Challenge: If you’re like me, you have a little ‘safe spot’ when it comes to color. Open up your closet and you’ll see a sea of … grey, or green, or name-your-favorite. Trust me when I say that Tina is your gal when it comes to shaking things up and thinking outside the box when it comes to colors! And socks are such a great place to play with color; for minimalists like me, it’s a little ‘subversive’ moment in my wardrobe. I may be wearing all neutrals, but no one knows that I’ve got Farmhouse socks on under my charcoal trousers. Extra credit: sign up for the Rockin’ Sock Club and you’ll have Tina-curated wardrobe-expanding inspiration every other month in your mailbox!
  6. The Yarn Challenge: If you are feeling a bit of sock burnout, might it be that you’re not changing things up enough? If you love your tried-and-true sock pattern because you love the way it fits and all, what about branching out into a new-to-you yarn? Tina’s brought in two yarns recently that I had been dying to try – so I’m whipping up one of my Unpattern Cuff-Down Socks in Tigger Targhee (that’s them, above). I’m loving the bounce and the matte finish – and suddenly, I’ve got my sock mojo back! Next on my list to try: Super Sparkle. Because a girl needs sparkly socks, right?
  7. The Rockin’ Sock Challenge: Thousands of avid sock knitters can’t be wrong – there’s no better way to immerse yourself in a bunch of sock-lovin’ fun than to sign up for the BMFA Rockin’ Sock Club. Six shipments a year, great color stories to go along with exclusive colorways, great patterns (and not just for socks) … the fun doesn’t stop all year. If you’ve never signed up before, let me tell you it’s such fun to be part of a group of avid socksters – excitedly awaiting their shipments, then ooh-ing and aah-ing over the colorways, digging into the patterns … Even if you don’t knit up every pair that year (though we all swear that this year we’ll keep up!), you’ll expand your notion of sock-ness into another dimension.

Turkish Bed Socks from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas – getting ready for gifting!

Of course, you can combine any of the above to double the impact! Try a new yarn for your next gifted pair of socks; learn a new skill with a new yarn; knit up your Rockin Sock Club projects as gifts … Any way you slice it, you could slide into 2018 a better knitter thanks to your socks next year.

Double Your Pleasure

We’re all about the cowls this winter over here in BlueMoonLand. Such a great way to mess around with tasty bits of yarn; and bonus: at the end of a little bit of knitting, you get something warm and soft to wear around your neck! This week, the cowl mania continues with Northwestern Exposure Cowl, a fun brioche pattern from the ever-talented Jessica over at Weaving Works in Seattle.

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Sometimes I think the only thing better than playing with a Blue Moon yarn is putting together colorways..! So many different fun combinations, even if you’re ‘only’ trying to combine two colors.

This week, I put together a seasonal speckle with a shaded solid since the pattern uses two colors, one round each, in brioche stitch (aka Fisherman’s Rib). The resulting fabric is visually complex, but so easy to knit – just slipping stitches, yarnovers, and knits and purls, using one yarn at a time.

I used to think that the softness of Crackpaca couldn’t be beat… But now I know that it outdoes even itself when worked in brioche! The texture of this fabric is truly out-of-this-world soft. 3D soft. Next-level squoosh factor!

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The hardest part about this project would be choosing just one set of colorways. I’ve just spent an inordinate amount of time today messing around with possible combinations, and I’m nowhere near done yet (although it’s already gone teatime around here)!

 

I chose Winter Wonderland with Royal Blue for my cowl:

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… but now I also want to knit Heckley Speckley with Star Sapphire:

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… and Jingle Sprinkles with Boysenberry:

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… Ooh! And what about Autumn’s Up with Walkin’ the Dog?

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So many choices when you start putting two together… It really does double your pleasure – and that’s even before you start knitting!

Baby it’s cold outside…

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It’s a snow day here at Blue Moon which basically means I am here working alone which is all kinds of peaceful. I am getting so much done!
Don’t get me wrong I love team Blue Moon, they are the best. It’ just that sometimes having quiet gives one space for colorful new thoughts and ideas!

Like…
V is for Vagenda!!!
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Super hot electric pinks!

Have you heard about the PussyHat Project
The Pussyhat Project aims to provide the people of the Women’s March on Washington D.C. a means to make a unique collective visual statement which will help activists be better seen and heard.
And to also provide those of us who cannot physically be on the National Mall a way to represent ourselves and support women’s rights and those we love.

As much as I would like to be there I can’t. However, my daughter and a whole bunch of friends and family will be there and so I am knitting them hats! I will most definitely be there in spirit.

We already have quite a few appropriate pinks:
Hot Flash
Psychobarbie
Rosebud
China Rose
Rosetta
Tit for Tat
Help Us Rhonda
Rose Quartz
Fuchsia Rose
and now…
V is for Vagenda!

Thanks to Kat Coyle and The Little Knittery for putting this all together! Check out their web page, mission statement and blog. The pattern they have supplied is super cute and an easy and quick knit. There is a place to send hats if you want to knit one (or two) show support and be involved.
We at Blue Moon are donating 20% of our December sales to the ACLU.

Okay…my buddy Karen just showed up for weekend knit shenanigans. Yay!!! And speaking of Karen, did you read her blog post this week (sweater dreams) on knitting for ourselves.

This month starts our next 3 spinning adventures. Long Wools!! If you want to join in the fun there is still plenty of room and time. The first shipment leaves at the end of December.
Rockin’ Sock Club is up for Gift Certificate purchases for the holidays. The gift that keeps on giving all year long!

Okay my lovely wonderful knitterly friends.
Have a great weekend.
Stay warm and safe.

sweater dreams

There’s no denying it: we are definitely into December. For many of us knitters, this means we’re knee-deep in gift knitting for the ones we deem ‘knitworthy.’ The ambitions of the fall, our heady notions of knitting EVERYTHING! for EVERYONE! are getting a bit more real. We might even be cutting a few choice things off the list (Uncle George is getting a hat instead of socks because … ya only gotta knit one!).

Hang in there, knitters – crunch time is upon us, but relief is in sight. A few short weeks from now, the last ends will be woven in, the bows will be on the packages, the packages will be in the mail, and then…

Personal Knitting Time begins.

Some call it ‘Selfish Knitting,’ but personally I think that’s a little harsh. If you’ve spent some considerable time making thoughtful gifts for others, isn’t it appropriate to also dedicate some time to making something for you to enjoy?

If you’re like me, you’ve been queueing up sweater patterns for just such an occasion. January, with all its promises of fresh starts, really calls for a cast-on of some magnitude, don’t you agree? ‘Tis the season for a solid sweater project you can really sink your teeth into (especially if you’re doing a food ‘reset’ after all that holiday eating – a cast-on is a calorie-free treat that keeps your hands out of the cookie jar!).

So now’s the time, knitters: start planning that January Treat Sweater. Pour yourself a mug of eggnog and open a tab in your browser with your Ravelry queue, a second tab with the Blue Moon colorways, and dream big!

Here are some ideas from my queue to get the creative juices flowing:

v-neck-boxyV-Neck Boxy by Joji Locatelli

A new variation on her wildly popular Boxy designs, this eminently wearable, totally forgiving silhouette would be a dream to slip into after the holidays. Worked from the top down this time, with a V-neck opening (so flattering on many of us!), it makes a great platform for fabulous fingering-weight yarns. But knitted at a gauge of 23 sts = 4″/10cm, it’s quite open and drapey… Not all yarns can hold their shape when knitted that far open.

Enter Cloud Nine: a sport-weight wonder in superwash merino, cashmere, and nylon. That’s the trifecta for combining softness with reliability in a long-living fabric. Its gauge range is pretty phenomenal, too: knitted down for socks and the like, it can go as dense as 7 sts/1″, but it holds its own all the way up to the light-DK range… So the 23 sts = 4″/10cm gauge in V-Neck Boxy would be right up its street!

1300 –2050 yards means 4 to 5 skeins will set you up right – just as soon as you can pick a color! The Shaded Solids are all so tempting…. I have a skein in Porcini that’s just begging to be swatched for this, just as soon as I get that Christmas stocking done.

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breathing-spaceBreathing Space by Veera Välimäki

Can’t decide on just one color of Cloud Nine? Or want to bring a little stripey fun into the dark months of winter? Look no farther than Joji’s comrade-in-arms, Veera, for inspiration. This stripey pullover sounds like just the thing for the post-holiday rush. One lighter shade (she’s using some speckles here – wouldn’t that be fun?) over a darker MC for high contrast… and then that striping on the bias! No winter doldrums possible with this design.

820 to 1370 yards (2 to 4 skeins) of MC plus 320 to 620 yards (1 to 2 skeins) of CC will do it; the hard part will be deciding on color combinations! Putting together colors is just a load of fun in and of itself: what about Tree Toots with Deep Unrelenting Grey:

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or A Speck of Autumn with … just about anything!a_speck_of_autumn_sk

 

… Aaaand just when I thought my queue couldn’t possibly get any longer, Tina texted me this morning with a link to this bit of loveliness:

img_5017_small2Crossing Over by Hanna Maciejewska

That waist detail! That collar! The ribbed back! I don’t even know where to start with the loveliness. And if you’re wanting something a bit more robust for a winter instant-gratification knit, this great open-front cardi done in worsted weight should do the trick.

Look no further than Targhee Worsted for this one: at 18 sts = 4″/10cm, the gauge is spot-on, and the bouncy reliability of the Targhee would shine in this design. I love how Targhee Worsted showcases texture: the half-brioche ribbed back would snap into relief. And the lightweight warmth would be fantastic to snuggle up in on the couch with a good book, or to running errands in on a windy March day.

1000 to 1900 yards for this design means just 2 or 3 skeins of Targhee Worsted will do it (and so few pesky ends to weave in and slow you down!).

I used to have a (store-bought) cardigan in college in a shade much like Chana Masala, and I wore it all. the. time. It’s a surprising near-neutral that sets off other colors beautifully (especially blue jeans!).

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It’s perfect timing to order up an SQ (‘sweater quantity’) of any of these right now: that gives the Barn Girls time to dye them, dry them, bundle and ship them to you so you can cast on the sweater of your dreams in your pyjamas on Boxing Day!

 

Squoosh

We knitters are tactile creatures. When we say “can I see that?,” what we really mean is “can I touch it?”

The feeling of a soft yarn running through our fingers is part of the meditation, part of the healing nature of knitting and crochet. So much of our modern life is digital and indirect – at the end of a day at the office/computer/on the phone, it’s nice to come home and sink into your favorite chair with a skein of something that pets you back.

And perhaps the highest praise a knitter can give a yarn is to ‘squoosh’ it – to clutch it as close to the face as possible and just s-q-u-e-e-z-e it, as if to eke out every little drop of soft yumminess you can. (This is the same response usually reserved for puppies and kittens and some baked goods.)

I do believe I have found the yarn for which the term ‘squoosh’ was invented – Sookie.

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Like its namesake on “Gilmore Girls,” Sookie is a bit of plump, soft deliciousness that’s a joy to be in a room with. It’s a softly-spun single that never threatens to pull or tear, with a super-soft surface that demands to be petted like a little bunny rabbit. And with each skein weighing in at 250 grams and 136 yards, you have a generous quantity to play with. One skein will easily make a large cowl – and that’s just where you’ll want Sookie: right up as close to your face as possible, so you can squoosh up in it when no one is looking (or maybe even if they are – it’s that yummy).
img_5927So it’s good news that there are any number of quick and easy (and free!) cowl patterns on Ravelry to choose from so you can indulge your senses with a bit of Sookie. I liked the seed stitch texture of Marian by Jane Richmond, which does a nice job of pixellating the washes of color. On US17 needles, this cowl knitted up in just a few hours – not even long enough for me to catch up on episodes of “Gilmore Girls!” (You can see my project notes, including needle size, stitch counts, and final dimensions here on Ravelry.)

And here’s some great news for you – Tina’s agreed to keep Sookie is at its special discounted price of $27 for the next few days, before it goes up to its regular price of $34. (Which is still a screaming deal for this much scrumptious softness, if you ask me.)

As ridiculously soft as it is, and as quick as it is to knit, Sookie is the ideal candidate for those last-minute knitted gifts. Your fancy friend who just moved to New York City would LOVE a cowl to go with her new shearling-lined moto jacket. Your perpetually-cold friend in Milwaukee could really use something this warm and soft as she runs from her office to the parking lot. Even your hard-to-shop-for twenty-something nephew would love a 2×2 ribbed muffler – perhaps in “Manly Yes, But I Like It, Too” (my go-to colorway for the gentlemen on my list).

img_4843-3-1But knitters – please. Don’t forget yourselves! Because after all the fun of choosing colorways for friends and relatives, and after the instant gratification of hours of softness running through your fingers, and the satisfied sighs of wrapping up your handknits and sending them on their way to their lucky new owners… You don’t want to leave yourself in a house bereft of *any* Sookie at all. Save a skein or two. For yourself. After the holiday frenzy, but before the baked goods are all gone, put a few nibbles on a plate, pour a glass of something festive, and sink into the colorful softness of a skein of Sookie – just for you.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be over here, napping in a skein of I smell SNOW!

 

GGG! Gratitude and Gilmore Girls.

FullSizeRender“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.” Albert Schweitzer

One of the biggest gifts that cancer has given me is the act of working on being grateful everyday. I am a work in progress which is why I say I work on it everyday. Some days it is easier to do than others. The days and times that it is the hardest are the places I learn the most and experience the deepest peace, love and happiness.

When we feel it is the darkest is the time where we need to be as grateful for every single moment. In my experience gratitude lights up the darkness!

I have a whole lot to be grateful for in my life. One of those things is that I get to do what I love and to serve fiber and color lovers like yourselves which is a great gift!!

THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!


You are the best and I love being a part of your lives and having you be part of mine!

I am so very, very grateful!!!

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I know that a whole lot of us are seriously excited for the Netflix Gilmore Girls reunion shows this weekend! I really am. I have lost count of how many times I have watched this lovely small town quirky show with my girls. It is our feel good go to show. How many of us would love to live in Stars Hollow??
Of course I had to come up with a few colorways to commemorate this event. There are so many colorway possibilities. I chose 3 of my favorite aspects of the show.

Starting from the left of the photo and working to the right we have: Luke’s, Stars Hollow and ” I Smell SNOW!!

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We have 15 sets of this lovely stitch markers from ~ A needle Runs Through It ~ that we are going to give away this weekend.
We are going to draw 15 knitters from all who order this weekend starting today (Friday) at noon and going until Monday at noon both Pacific time.
What we would LOVE for you to do is in the notes section of your order tell us who your favorite character is. You can also tell us why but you don’t have to. We will randomly choose from those orders and send the stitch markers out when your order is ready!

Also, if a dyer was going to make more Gilmore Girl colorways what would you like to see? I would love it if you put your suggestions in the comments section of this post. Please be as descriptive as possible. It can be a character or a place or a moment. Anything Gilmore Girls!

Okay I have to go help Maggie finish dyeing. It is just the two of us today.

Before I go I would like to point out the blog post before this one by our friend Karen Alfke. She will be posting about once a week about knit goodness that she has cooked up or found on the interwebs with our yarns.
Thank you Karen for being our knitter in the field!!

I am going to dye some Sookie in ” I Smell SNOW!! And knit a special Stars Hollow super duper cozy cowl!!

What cowls are you knitting???

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Turkish Travels

Hello all – Karen Alfke here, Blue Moon’s ‘Knitter in the Field.’ I’ll be taking over the blog from time to time to tempt you with project ideas for all the great yarns that the Blue Moon team has to offer.

Many of us here south of the 49th Parallel are traveling to see family and friends for the annual Thanksgiving feast. And with travel comes the usual knitter’s conundrum: what to pack?

My go-to travel project is a skein of Socks That Rock™ Mediumweight and the pattern for Turkish Bed Socks by Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. As far as I’m concerned, this is the dream combination for the consummate travel-worthy project.

Pumpkin Spice Latte, anyone? Make mine a double-tall - in a reusable mug, of course.

Pumpkin Spice Latte, anyone? Make mine a double-tall – in a reusable mug, of course.

All you need to pop in your bag is a set of US3/3.25mm DPNs (or your small-tube needle method of choice) and a tempting colorway of Socks That Rock™. Mediumweight is on the hefty side of fingering weight, which means it’s an ideal gauge to make a great fabric on these larger-than-usual sock needles.

Turkish Bed Socks are shortie socks, so there’s no time ‘wasted’ on a cuff. It’s straight down to business, with entertaining twists and turns right from the get-go. I’ve been known to cast on a pair on the light rail on the way to the airport and be finishing the toe before the plane lands!

It’s an unusual heel construction, which means there are several fun phases as you work down toward the foot. It’s ideal ‘in-law knitting’: something to concentrate on while making polite ‘I’m listening’ noises as Uncle Ernie recounts the details of his hernia surgery – again.

Since every skein of Socks That Rock™ Mediumweight boasts a generous 405 yards, you’ll have enough in one skein to knit a pair as a gift (find out your hostess’ shoe size and leave ’em there!) and knit a pair for yourself. (After all, you picked the skein because YOU loved the colorway, right?!)

You'll have the first one done before they bust out the dessert course.

You’ll have the first one done before they bust out the dessert course.

And if your holiday travels call for a few nights in a hotel, these make great little packalongs. If you finish a pair during your trip, they’re the ideal way to make those impersonal hotel rooms (and cold bathroom floors!) just a little more cozy.

There’s always room for one more skein, right? Pack up this winning combination and you’ll sail through your holiday travels this season.

And now I gotta go – there’s a skein in the “Elf” colorway that’s calling my name!