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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!

 

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!

Cowls Gone Wild!!

Our new colorways are live as promised!
There are fifteen of them. I know!

Here they are in all their glory. I hope you enjoy knitting with them as much as I do creating them! I enjoy creating them quite a bit!

Our lovely friend Karen Alfke has been doing some Cowl knitting as part of our Holiday Cowlathon.
Look…
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Our Targhee Bulky in our colorway, In the Navy. Pattern: Blue Plaid by Alicia Plummer

US9/5.5mm needles, with US8/5mm for ribbed edgings

Karen’s knit-notes: Loved the soft ‘sproing’ of the Targhee Bulky for this one! Targhee holds the stitch definition so nicely – the ridges of garter really stand out. This generous cowl can be worn draped open to make a dramatic statement over a coat, or doubled up around the neck for cozy warmth. A super-fun knit: the 12 rounds of just knits and purls keep your interest while you’re knitting. And the finished piece would make a great gift for a worthy recipient.

Next…
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Vineyard Cowl by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas
Knit in our super yummy Crackpaca in the colorway Big Brain Blue

Karen’s knit-notes: This is just about the coziest cowl I’ve ever knitted – I don’t want to take it off, even indoors! It’s a great way to get a taste of Crackpaca. And the stitch pattern is wicked fun – a 4-round repeat that you just won’t want to put down.

It looks like little mock cables, but it’s all done with increases & decreases and lifting stitches over, so no need for a cable needle! At around 200 yards per cowl, so you could knit several for gifts. I’ve known knitters who have made multiples already this Fall (they’re ahead of the game for the holidays for sure!)

Starting today and going until next Friday we are offering out Targhee Bulky and Crackpaca at a 10% off the regular price discount.
The discount code is: cowlsgonewild2
There will be a discount code box on your order from when you go to check out!

If you missed the details of our Holiday Cowlathon here they are from my last blog post.
Cowls are wonderful winter wardrobe enhancers and warmers! As knitter’s they are usually a pretty quick knit which makes them seriously great for holiday knitting and gift giving.
Add in with great patterns and the perfect yarn and color combination you have a recipe for joy.

We are going to make suggestions every week for cowl patterns we love with yarn suggestions we think would be wonderful combinations with said patterns. Of course will have some discounts and colorway ideas. Since we (me) always have colorway ideas!!

Really you can knit whatever pattern you like as long as it is a cowl knit in a Blue Moon yarn. We ask that after your cowl is knit that you post a picture of it on instagram and tag us @bluemoonfiberarts and the designer of the cowl. Also please use the following hashtags #holidaycowlathon #bluemoonfiberarts so we can all share in the fun.

Here are the cowlcentives:
Knit and instagram
1 cowl you receive a 5% discount code
2 cowls gets you a 10% discount coed
3 cowls gets you a 15% discount code
and 4 cowls gets you a 20% discount code

Discount codes will be sent out at the end of December and are good until April 1st.

Okay my dear, dear knitting friends, take care, be good to each other and have a good weekend.

Color and cowls!

I have been a little possessed by cowls lately! I blame our Single Silk Targhee and our Crackpaca which I feel is only fair since they are both the cozy kind of yarn you want to snuggle up into! So soft and cozy that you want them around your neck when those cold winter winds start to blow! At least I do. I am so in love with our Loophole Cowl that I wear the sample around the house on those mornings when there is still a bit of a chill in the air.

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Maggie and I were chatting in the barn this week about holiday knitting and cowls and life. I was thinking we should have a Blue Moon Holiday Cowlathon! Right?!

Then Maggie and I looked at each other and both wondered out-loud, at the same time, what that would look like exactly.
Ideas like these do run rampant in the dye barn in the wee hours (6:00 am) of the morning. It’s later in the day when we are fully awake and caffeinated that we get down to the knitty gritty ~ we need a plan ~ aspect of our early morning musings.

So here’s the plan, as we have it so far. It might evolve a little more but this is a good beginning!

Cowls are wonderful winter wardrobe enhancers and warmers! As knitter’s they are usually a pretty quick knit which makes them seriously great for holiday knitting and gift giving.
Add in with great patterns and the perfect yarn and color combination you have a recipe for joy.

We are going to make suggestions every week for cowl patterns we love with yarn suggestions we think would be wonderful combinations with said patterns. Of course will have some discounts and colorway ideas. Since we (me) always have colorway ideas!!

Really you can knit whatever pattern you like as long as it is a cowl knit in a Blue Moon yarn. We ask that after your cowl is knit that you post a picture of it on instagram and tag us @bluemoonfiberarts and the designer of the cowl. Also please use the following hashtags #holidaycowlathon #bluemoonfiberarts so we can all share in the fun.

Here are the cowlcentives:
If you knit and instagram
1 cowl you receive a 5% discount code
2 cowls gets you a 10% discount coed
3 cowls gets you a 15% discount code
and 4 cowls gets you a 20% discount code

Discount codes will be sent out at the end of December and are good until April 1st.

The yarns we have on discount right now are Featherlight and Silky BFL! (Price listed right now is the sale price)

Our cowl pattern suggestions for the week are:
Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland

Textural Healing Cowl by Shannon Squire

Ghazal Cowl by Katherine Leek

There we go…a good beginning!

Have a lovely weekend!

Christmas colors at Blue Moon

The sun (yay!!) is peaking through the trees this morning which it has not done here in about a week so I am feeling the Friday love this morning!!

We have done our colorway change and put up a whole bunch of our holiday colorways. I really love this aspect of a colorway change. Making new colorways is all kinds of fun but I also really enjoy revisiting older ones or ones we offer only once a year which is the case with holiday ones.

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A little Rudolph’s Revenge!

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…and one of my favorites Ginger’s Gnome Home!

If there is a holiday colorway you would like to see return that is not on the website right now please do let us know!!

I can not wait to dye a some of these up in our new yarn bases like Crackpaca and Super Sparkle. Oh…and Single Silk Targhee!!

Christmas cowls!!! If I had the time I would so knit all of my loved ones a cowl in either our Single Silk Targhee or Crackpaca.

Our KALS start really soon and we have been busting out the Single Silk Targhee and Spell Shawl Kits. We have shipped out the bulk of these orders and working on the rest which will ship out today and on Monday!

I have thinking it would be fun to play a few games/contests and I have really been wanting to do an instagram contest.
We were thinking it might fun for us to post a picture a week of an older colorway and have you guys guess what it is.

The first person to guess and respond on our instagram feed where the picture is, gets a skein of that colorway in Socks that Rock Lightweight!

Please use the following hashtags: #bluemoonfiberarts #whatsthatcolorway

We will start this contest on Monday. I will post the first picture then. Our instagram feed is

Okay I have such a seriously full day today I do not know How I am going to squeeze it in.

I am working on new holiday colorways. So if there is something you’d like s to see us do. Write a description in the comments section of this post please and I will do mt very best!

Have the loveliest of weekends my friends!

Seasonal shift in color, knitting and time…

I fully intended to have this done by now but this day totally got away from me, as they sometimes do. Such a full few weeks. I am so happy that it is Friday. I plan on spending a whole lot of time with my couch and some knitting!

Okay first things first, it is time for a seasonal color shift. We need to make room for holiday colors both our old friends and some new ones!!

Below is a list of the colorways that are going off to Hue-Spa for a respite. If there are any colorways you’d like to see return, especially holiday ones, please leave a comment on this post and we will do our best to add it in to the line-up.

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We have so very many holiday colorways.So many that I don;t think I even know them all. Maybe you’d like to help me compile a list? We could do it in the comments here.

I want to say a big ol’ thank you to all of our Sock club members for your patience with this very late shipment. We started referring to it here and the never-ending-shipment. It has all shipped!
Speaking of shipping, we did get a little bogged down with the KAL orders and then add in the illness that hit us like a ton of bricks, having someone on vacation and then that wicked wind storm which took out our power. Well… . We shipped so many packages out this week and the rest will leave here on Monday and Tuesday. In plenty of time for all KALS!!!

Thank you for your patience!!!

As always it was really wonderful to see all of the different colorways everyone chose for their Luwan sweater. I can’t wait to see them when you are all finished knitting them. I am really excited to see the Flamingo Feet one!! I know… right??

It’s not too late to join Carol’s KAL!! We will do our very best to get you your yarn as close to the 5th as possible. Unless you are international.

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Our other KAL is Shannon’s Spell Shawl!! I’m pretty smitten with this shawl and our charmed kits. I have spent the past three days dyeing kits. So much fun. Shannon and I even came up with a spell that will be in your package, besides the color one of course.

I really, really want to join this KAL so much. It appeals to me in so many ways. Now I just have to choose a kit. Maybe one of these two?

Tasseomancy

Tasseomancy

Siren's Song

Siren’s Song

Always my problem. So many colors and so little time!!!

Ok it is getting late and I really need to get this posted.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! I am going to take a long walk and enjoy the amazing colors our trees are giving us right now!

So very many things….

It’s Thursday evening and I am writing this before I head to bed because we are in the middle of a big storm and the power is going to go out as it does and I want you to know about all the goodness!

Okay so first let’s talk about New York Sheep and Wool Festival lovingly refered to as Rhinebeck by most of us and Woodstock Fleece Festival in Ontario.

See these three lovely souls?

rhinebeck

That is Nan, Bill and Toni who will be at The Fold’s (Booth 32, 33, Bldg B) with all kinds of Blue Moon goodness! Please do stop by and say hi and maybe bestow a nice warm and wooly hug! Shannon’s Spell Shawl (Which you can read more about and see kit pics in the header post above.) and our charmed gradient kits are there along with our new cowl, Loophole!! Maggie and I cooked up a wonderful scarf/cowl duo in Single Silk Targhee in my current favorite colorway Heckley Speckley. Such a fun knit and the coziest cowl. We’ve been fighting over it in the barn.

Toni also has our Rhinebeck colorway!! along with all of our Targhee yarns including our fab new sock yarn Tigger Targhee!

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Isn’t pretty! Toni and I got to create this one together when she was here a few weeks ago so it is super special!
And yes,for those of us that are not at Rhinebeck you can get it here on the website as promised.

Knit Season means show season and this weekend there is also the Woodstock Fleece Festival in Ontario.Terri at Feather Your Nest will be there with a whole bunch of Blue Moon goodness including Socks that Rock, Tigger Targhee and Single Silk Targhee … .

I hope everyone who is attending these wonderful shows had a grand time!

Here are a few pics of LOOPHOLE as a cowl.The scarf pics did not turn out so well so I am re-shooting once this storm lets up a bit.The pattern will be on the website sometime this Friday.

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It was great fun working on this design with Maggie so I think we will be doing a bit more.

I do hope you will join us for what is most definitely a charmed KAL, Shannon’s Spell Shawl. We both a kind of witchy and might have a thing for All Hallow”s Eve so brewing up our color spells and charmed stitches was just too much fun. The texture on this shawl is seriously wonderful. I love our Featherlight yarn quite a bit but had never felt or seen it knit double. Oh my goodness!! I think we are all going to want to knit this in a few color spells. I know desperatley want to cast on one in Fangorn Forest and Expecto Arum and maybe also Tasseomancy.
So many knit wants and so little time.

Okay well I am sure I am forgetting something. It has been quite the week!