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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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Slay Me ~ Buffy KAL colorway pairings

Hello all!

As promised a few colorway pairing ideas for our Buffy knit-a-long.  Shannon and I spent the day today  playing matchy~matchy with skeins of yarn.  It is the best kind of game!

On the top row of each photo is our Buffy colorway in Super Sparkle and Yaksi Fingering-weight. Right underneath are the shaded solids we have carefully chosen that we feel make our Buffy colorways and Shannon’s design sparkle! Oh and the list of colorway names moves from the left to the right of the photo!

If none of these float your boat then please do email info@bluemoonfiberarts.com and I will do my very best to help you choose the colorway that makes you feel like the chosen one.

Click on each picture to make them bigger and see the color a little better.

Okay I am off to bed.

Sweet dreams are made of these…

Slay me….

Okay for those of you that are not Buffy fans please know that at the end of this blog post there are other new colorways.

Now…for those of you that are Buffy (the Vampire Slayer)  fans then guess what? We are going to celebrate the 20 year Anniversary of Joss Whedon’s genius series full of wonderful characters and story as we do, with a ton of color and a knit-a-long.

I am seriously excited. I have been driving team Blue Moon nuts with all of my creative musings and tweaking. There was all kinds of creative questioning form me. Things like, “Oh no, this skein does not really do Spike justice. Do you think this skein looks like Spike? I do not think this skein looks like Spike. How am I going to make this look like Spike? Maybe I need a drink.” Or… “there is definitely not enough darkness in the dark side of Angel’s colorway and how do I make Giles a colorway that does him justice but it translate to shawl and is smart?” and on and on and on it went.

I stopped at 12 but I am totally adding to this because we need Cordelia and Faith and…oh my goodness how did I not do Faith this time around? You see how this has been.

Seriously fun and I have to say I am pretty tickled to have my very own Scooby Gang of yarn!

I want to know them all. I want Spike socks so bad that as soon as I am done with the picture taking I am balling up the skein, casting on and watching some Buffy.  I might have a thing for Spike!

Okay…I told you excited!!

When I realized in February that this year was the 20th Anniversary of  our beloved slayer, I asked another die-hard Buffy fan if she would like join me in a bit of a knit-homage to Buffy and of course, Shannon  said yes. And as it is with these things here we are!

SLAY ME KAL
As I said Shannon and I decided to celebrate all of this evil goodness by doing what we do best: I design a bunch of Buffy-themed colorways, She designs a Buffy-inspired shawl.

We both are particularly tickled about the colorway that inspired the design and how we are using it. The same, Buffy-inspired colorway, two ways: one in Super Sparkle, one in Yaksi Fingering. The yarns take the dye in two very different, and delightful, ways. So we get to see how that plays out since the Yaksi starts out a greyish brown all colr we put on it it darker and a little muted. Shannon and I both have a little bit of a thing for Yaksi!

Our Slayer KAL begins May 1st, and the pattern will be released sometime before then. We are putting up the yarn for pre-sale now so we can all knit together this Spring as we re-watch Buffy (and Angel, don’t forget about Angel!).
Order by April 21st, and you get a 15% discount on all three skeins of the yarn. Discount information is included in the pdf you get when you purchase the pattern from Shannon as well as lots more information about the KAL.
You can find the info here on Shannon’s blog and the pattern page is here Rav page

We are not selling these as kits. This way you can choose the shaded solid that works best with whatever Buffy colorway/character you choose!

And when you order you order you Buffy character colorway in both Super Sparkle and Yaksi Fingering.

Below you will find all of the Buffy character-colorways! Starting this weekend I will be posting combinations to instagram.

As always if you need color help please do email me. info@bluemoonfiberarts.com. I love to help with color choosing.

Here is my version of the Scooby Gang in all of their glory! I hope you like knitting with them as much as I like dreaming them up.

“In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer.” -Joss Whedon

Oh my goodness there are enough Buffy colorways for a throw!!!

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Other new colrways you will find on the website.

In the Multicolorway Category we have: Scumble Bumble, MurkyCHI and Leapfrog. All the rest of them are in the BeSpeckled cstegory.

Okay I am sure I left thing out but I need to post this before the newsletter goes out.

Have a great weekend!!

It’s sunny today. I hope it stays this way through the weekend.

La Luna

It’s Friday!!!!!  And….it’s sunny!!!

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Happy dancing in the barn for sunshine!

There is also a fair amount of happy dancing because our new yarns are here. We have been testing them, as we do, with color and stitches and needles and turkey basters (the dye part).

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La Luna is made from our good and steady friend the Merino sheep and not just any Merino sheep but an, oh so ultra-fine, super soft Merino with a micron count of 19. The only way I can envision finding a more magical fiber is if one were able to collect unicorn down under a full moon and not just any full moon but a full blue moon! Yup, that would be the only way.

Oh wait…let’s throw in a little Mulberry Silk cause why the hell not?! No reason not to and lots of reason to add in a little sheen and strength to that fine Merino.

A magical blend for sure! So much so that of course there had to be 3 different yarns, in 3 different weights. See why all the happy dancing.

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La Luna Lace ( Colorway: ChamPlum)

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La Luna Fingering ( Colorway: Lean Mean Aubergine)

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La Luna Dk  ( Colorway: Calendula)

The lace-weight is a 2 ply and is a bit heavier and tightly plied then mostly lace weight yarns.

Same is true for the 3 ply fingering weight version of La Luna. Tightly plied and just a bit heavier than the traditional fingering weight. Although as I type that I think that it is probably pretty comparable to Socks that Rock which definitely did not start out as a traditional fingering weight yarn.

I love the ply on all three of these yarns and the stitch definition it gives the fabric. The DK La Luna is just down right dreamy! These are from the same mill that spins Crackpaca! They do such a beautiful job.

We are offering all three of these beauties at an introductory 27.00 for a small window of time so more of us can give them a knit. We had them at the yarn tasting at Twisted last weekend as part of the Rose City Yarn Crawl and they were a big hit!

Along with new yarns we have been slowly adding new colors here and there. We have some new shaded solids that I am loving.

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Electric Blue, DesAqua, Lean Mean Aubergine and Calendula!

I am head over heels for the Calendula. We also have ChamPlum which is the color  the La Luna Lace is pictured in above.

As of this moment in time we are caught up on all website orders!!!!!!!!

Thanks to my team for just busting it out of here the past few weeks!

We are probably going to close sign-ups for the Rockin’ Sock Club for the year very soon. So if you want to be a part of the  Sock Opera madness this is last your chance.

To those of you requesting class info. I will be putting those up next week. I was not sure of my schedule so did not want to put up classes until I was sure I would be here.

Thank you so to all of you lovely knitters that came to see us at Twisted last weekend. We had so much fun and it was just really great to see all of you!

Oh I almost forgot…stay tuned next week for a big ol’ KAL announcement!

Have a lovely weekend!

Happy knitting my fiber loving friends…

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all the sweaters!

If someone were to ask me what I’d knit if I could only knit one kind of project for the rest of my days, I’d say ‘sweaters!’ I love the scale of them – you really dig in and spend some time there, much like the big fat historical novels I like to read. And then you get to wear them out in the big, wide world, really representing this crazy wonderful craft of knitting.

And when a designer with a wicked fashion sense goes about making a system to create sweaters that are seamless, cleverly constructed and (be still my heart) top-down, there’s a lot to celebrate.

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Julie Weisenberger of Cocoknits has done just that with her new Cocoknits Sweater Workshop, a book that’s chockablock with great techniques as well as many wearable silhouettes. The five sweater designs in there have options for different necklines, lengths, and so on – making eight distinct variations available for your knitting and wearing pleasure! Julie also adds a section on on styling and what sweater elements do visually to balance (or imbalance) body shapes, so you don’t spend time knitting one up and then get disappointed with how it looks on your particular body type. There’s so much in here, for newbie and advanced knitters alike!

The Cocoknits method begins with the back neck, then picks up for front shoulder tabs, and then works sleeves and fronts and back down together, to create one of the most painless set-in-sleeve knitting experiences you’re bound to encounter. I love how it packs all the interesting little fiddly bits into the beginning of a project, when you’re most likely to be super-engaged with it … and then at the end, you can just cruise down along the sleeves and body so that before you know it, you’ve bound off, woven in your ends and ready to wear your new sweater!

I spent a bunch of time this morning on the Blue Moon site, prowling for yarns suitable for each of the designs – I’m having a hard time limiting myself to the (first) two SQs I’ll need to knit pieces from this book in Tina’s yarns … oh, the possibilities!

(All images here courtesy of Cocoknits. Stunning photography and styling you can really imagine in your wardrobe – thanks, Julie!)

 

Let’s break it down, style by style.

Emma AEMMA version A (v-neck and long sleeves, shorter body). Julie’s got this one knitted up in a bulky-weight wool. With its open V-neck, it’s not bound to get too warm for everyday wear. Plus, all that skin at the neckline is great for balancing out larger busts. (Keeping the body length shorter up above the hips also means it can be good for those with more visual weight through the bottom – Julie’s tip would be to style it with darker pants to minimize your bottom half.)

Etarghee_bulky_skmma’s knitted gauge is 12 stitches and 18 rows = 4″/10cm, which means it would be an ideal candidate for Targhee Bulky. The loft and bounce in this yarn is phenomenal, as is the smooth stitch definition. You could slip into this for an entire Saturday of errands and movies and couch knitting and never want to take it off …! (Golly, that brick red with maybe some brown or charcoal wool trousers? Instant panache.)

Emma C

EMMA version C (C is for Cardigan!) looks like another daily driver – those deep cuffs at the wrist and pockets! Throw this on over a me-made tank top and you’re ready for knitting night at your LYS or a Netflix marathon of “The Crown”.

The other bonus: Targhee Bulky skeins boast a whopping 462 yards, so you’ll only need 2 or 3 skeins to make any of these versions, depending upon which size you choose. And since they’re top-down, you decide when to stop at the best length for your body type! The largest size might end up using up every little bit of that third skein, so commit to knitting up the body first so it can be just the right length, and divide up your remaining yarn by gram weight into two equal halves – one for each sleeve. Then you can knit up every single inch of your lovely Targhee Bulky!

I’m dreaming of one in Chana Masala. I know, right? chana_masala_cu

 

tallulahTALLULAH is an ingenious sleeveless garter-stitch cocoony cardigan thingy that I’m totally obsessed with now. The drop-shoulder silhouette means it balances out a larger bottom half well, and the fact that it’s split up the front, cardigan-style gives a great visual line up the body. This one should be flattering on so many of us – and with no sleeves, it should provide just enough warmth over dresses or blouses. You could totally rock this one in the office if you wanted to. Targhee Bulky is our hero here as well – can you imagine how classy this would look in Black Onyx?

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The book should be arriving at your LYSs soon, but if you just can’t wait another second, you can order the book directly from Cocoknits now.

I’ll be back next time with the rest of the silhouettes and some ideas for yummy Blue Moon yarns for them. Right now I gotta go – my cart is calling me!

 

 

 

Rose City Yarn Crawl

Hey there! Remember me?
I know, it’s been awhile.
Life has been pretty intense in Blue Moonland trying to catch up on orders, stay sane (hahahaha) and stay ahead of whatever craziness Mother Nature has decided to throw our way. I can tell you I have lived here for almost 20 years and have never experienced a winter like this one, and you know what? I would really be okay with this all having been an anomaly. Fingers crossed.

So, first things first. We are just about caught up on orders. Yay!!!!
Thank you all so very much for your understanding and patience. I have said it before ~ Blue Moon has the most wonderful knitters!!!

Okay so next week is the Rose City Yarn Crawl. I know…how did that happen?

I am so excited! Are you excited?

So much yarn love and knit fun to be had.

We have worked with the Twistedista’s again this year on RCYC exclusive colorways created for the theme. This year’s theme Portland Pastimes was really fun to create colorways for. Twisted chose as their pastimes ~ “Standing in line for brunch.” and “Dressing to match your pet.”

I am so very tickled with the colorways and names we came up with for these two fun themes.

Of course, Standing in line for brunch had to be Breakfast Club!!! One of my all time favorite movies, so full of teenage angst. What’s not to love? Also, it could not be more Portland! I took hues from Bender, Claire, Andy, Allison and Brian’s wardrobe and them altogether for a very Portland Breakfast Club colorway! Don’t you think?
Look the perfect pairing!

Queuing By Kat Archer
I truly love this cowl and think we might need a Breakfast Club Queuing KAL! Anyone game?

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Our next colorway was a bit harder to come up with. Dressing to match your pet. Hmmm…. I decided on speckles and because PDX does love it dogs I went canine instead of feline. Shh..don’t tell my cats!

Here we have for you knitting pleasure, Dress Like Your Pet! Brown and black speckles on white with some a little splash of Aqua because it’s Portland and we are all about the water here in the Pacific Northwest!

I love Megan’s design. I pretty much love everything Megan designs. I find her crochet intriguing enough to make me want to give it a go but, I know better. I have tried. I have a thing for granny squares so… so I have tried a square or 20. It’s not pretty. I am sad to say that my granny squares are not square and would put my granny to shame.
Anyway, I digress.

Here’s Fernhill Park by Megan Parrish
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Photo Credits for both of these to The Rose City Yarn Crawl

So pretty!!

Twisted will also have a whole bunch of Blue Moon knit samples including Emma Welford’s Tualatin and Carol Feller’s LUWAN !!

photo credit: Lindsey Topham

photo credit: Lindsey Topham

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Photo Credit: Joseph Feller

And…

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yarn Tasting,
Sock Show n’ Tell & Color Fortune Telling
with me
Saturday, March 4 from 10:00-4:00pm
Take a moment out of your hectic shopping schedule to stop in and say hi, maybe sample a yarn or two with Maggie and myself. We would so love to see you and your socks or anyone other blue moon knit show and tell you might have!! We will be bringing some new yarns for you to see and test and some new colorways too!! I am also going to wear my Color Witch hat for some fun and insightful color readings! Come see what the color cards have in to say!
We can do sock, knitter and dyer selfies if you like and just have a colorful time.

All Pop-Up Events will be held at the Twisted Annex – 2239 NE Broadway, a bright yellow building with turquoise trim diagonally across the street from Twisted’s main shop. Please be safe: We strongly recommend taking advantage of the signaled crosswalk at the intersection of NE Broadway and 24th when traveling between Twisted and our classroom annex.

So much….

Okay a few more things before I go outside and enjoy the actual sunshine that is out today. So strange yesterday there were snow flurries all day and today it’s sunshine!

Next week, Shannon Squire’s new Socks for Busy B’s 2 collection is hitting the streets, and Socks that Rock is playing a starring role! Three sock patterns, each one both toe-up AND cuff-down, in a wide range of sizes. PLUS, a bonus 2-week discount on your favorite sock yarns. Shannon will announce the collection on Instagram and her newsletter.

She might be using my new favorite colorway!

#shepersisted

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Have a great weekend!

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!!
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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!!!

Snowpocaplyse and shipping updates!

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Guess who?!
Yup it’s me. I am alive. Although I have to tell you, it really does not feel that way. I have been sick since right after Christmas with what started out as the current viral thing going around but morphed into a wicked case of bronchitis. I am still wheezing (asthma) and coughing and it feels like I will never stop. My whole family got hit with this nasty bugger.
I had all of these great plans with my girls who were home for the holidays and to also do some planning for the upcoming year and New Year clean-out. None of that happened. We took turns taking care of each other and watched our comfort shows Gilmore Girls, Will and Grace and Parks and Rec. and I knit when I could.
It certainly was not what I had planned but at least we got to be together!

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And then there was the weather. Do you know that we here in Blue Moon land have had snow on the ground since around December 14th. I know! Crazy-pants! And not a small amount of snow either.
After the last dump last week we had about 3 feet of it. Frozen Solid!! I will tell you my friends that is a whole lot of snow. The Pacific Northwest is not really equipped to deal with this kind of winter. We lost power for a few days and it took a 2 days and a big ol tractor to dig us out.
Because of this we are a bit behind schedule. Team Blue Moon could not get here for most of last week and I was too sick to work. Most of us got to work today and it looks like there is going to be a warming trend (fingers crossed) to melt some of this and clear the roads and packed snow and ice.
I am very sorry about the delay! Please know we are doing our very best to get you your yarn!

Thank you for your patience!
Stay safe and warm!

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every little bit counts

It’s a new year, and if you’re like me, you’re filled with the enthusiasm and vigor that comes with new beginnings. It’s easy to get swept up in the energy and vow big things, like losing a lot of weight or decluttering your whole house, or knitting 12 pairs of socks this year. Three-hundred-and-sixty-five days to get it all RIGHT!

It’s also the perfect time to learn from any mistakes we might have made this last holiday season: did you (like me) overcommit to too many handknit presents and not get them done in time? Did you vow THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT and you won’t knit 46 presents in the last 6 weeks of the year…?

As much as I love the sweeping grand gestures of these first weeks of the year, let me insert a bit of quiet advice here. Those smart folks who study habits and resolutions and how efficient people get things done will tell you: it comes down to what you do Every. Day. The little, good-for-you habits that you tuck in to your day will determine who stands at the end of 2017 in front of your mirror. They don’t have to be big decisions – in fact, it might be more do-able if they’re small things. A salad for lunch every day. Brushing your teeth after lunch. Washing your face before bed. And knitting in the car.

No, let me explain! Not while driving, of course (we would never tell you to try something dangerous), but for taking advantage of all those in-between moments when you’re out and about. Quiet hours in your cozy spot at home, working away on a project may be fewer and farther between than you really want; but I guarantee you that there are moments in your day where you could squeeze in some stitches and make some progress on a little project.

For me, thaimg_6122t spot is in our truck. Boyhood and I like to save up our running-around errands (bank, hardware store, groceries) for days when we’re home together, and that’s when I pull out my secret weapon: the Car Sock Project. A skein of tempting sock yarn tucked into a project bag with its needles lives in a little cubby between the seats (props to Honda for building the Ridgeline around the Center Console Knitting Cubby™: they must have knitters on their design team!). This project doesn’t come back and forth with me – the secret is that it lives in the truck all the time. Yours could be in the glove box, or in the passenger footwell – just have it somewhere where you can reach for it in a spare moment. Stuck in line waiting for the Bainbridge ferry? (That’s a notorious knitting spot.) Does Coach need five more minutes with the kids at the end of practice? Take your time, Coach. I’m over here, working on socks.

Shown here in action is Socks That Rock™ on two 20″ circular needles; since our errands sometimes take us on the highway, high speed with circulars feels a bit safer than pointy DPNs. (Bonus: not having to worry about needing point protectors.)

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So knitworthy, he posts his new pairs with pride on Instagram right after putting them on!

A ten-minute junket to the grocery store here, a quick nip out to the Post Office there, and the sock just quietly grows and grows. In a few weeks or months, I’ll have the first sock done, all done with incidental time that would otherwise be lost. But for me the real kicker, the twist that makes my little January-of-fresh-starts heart go pitter-patter, is that these socks are part of my gift knitting for next year. Brother loves nothing more than a pair of handknit socks, so he gets a pair for his birthday in November, and another pair for Christmas. In years when I don’t plan well, that means 4 socks in 4 weeks – not a recipe for a stress-free holiday season.

I might just be giving myself a little cramp from patting myself on the back for starting his birthday pair this early, in this stealthy way. One set of errands at a time, I’ll get these done – doesn’t really matter how long it takes because I have until November! They’ll be done long before that, of course, at which point I’ll put the next pair in the truck. And off we go again, a little bit at a time – getting it done.

And if you have the great good fortune to sign up for the Rockin’ Sock Club, you’ll have a fresh, exciting skein in your mailbox every other month to play with! That sounds to me like the ideal way to squeeze in that extra bit of knitting fun into your day-to-day.

See you on the road, knitters!