How Knitters Pack For Trips

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

I’m packing for spring break.  It took me under 30 minutes to pack a week’s worth of clothes.  But the knitting, oh the knitting.  I’ve got two sweaters in progress that I’m taking (7 hours of flying each way, one is at a difficult stage for traveling, so I may not make a lot of progress on it).  The yellow yarn is to knit this cute little trivet for the cup of tea I keep next to my desk.  The gray/brown is for Paragon Socks.  I’m knitting them for the Elliebelly Adventurous April Knit Along (if you aren’t already knitting with us, browse around here to see all the patterns we are knitting this year and join us) and want to get my swatching done while we’re away.  My daughter was quick to point out she knew there was going to be a problem when my clothes went into the little daypack I use as a carry on and I pulled out a suitcase for my knitting.  Still waiting to be packed is yarn for a cowl I want to swatch for and possibly a hat as well.  This year, my approach to Adventurous April is going to be more “cast on all the things” than finish a project.  But I need to set a good example by swatching first, and spring break seems like just the right time.

In other exciting news, it really is spring in ‘Bama.  This means my herb garden is coming back and we’ll have more experiments with colors from my dyer’s garden starting in a few months.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who is happy about spring.

Many of you know that after 7.5 fabulous years, I’ve left my job in public service.  I’m taking a few months off before I start my new job and having a wonderful time continuing my commitment to some causes in my community like mentoring youth, fighting domestic violence, and developing community resources to fight addiction.  And I’m enjoying my new found time to knit in longer stretches than 5 minutes here and ten minutes there.  It’s amazing what one can accomplish with an hour to knit and sip a cup of tea!  Although my community work has kept me from putting all the bells and whistles I want to include in place on the website, we have opened shop on Etsy.  I’ve been slowly adding skeins here and there, and there is now yarn in all weights, roving, even a few sweater quantities in the shop.  Please stop by for a look.  You can join us in the Elliebelly Adventurous April Knit Along using any yarn of your choice, but this year, for the first year in a long time, you can knit with Elliebelly yarn, so I hope you will drop by for a look.

FInally, I want to just note that despite our busy lives and all the stress that they can impose on us sometimes, it’s important to take time to enjoy life’s little moments.  I had one of those when I dropped by my local bakery for coffee this morning, and saw that the cookie bakers had made quite a morning of it.

I hope you’ll find something to bring joy and color to your day, too!


New in the Elliebelly Shop

As we head into the Adventurous April Knit Along (starting April 1, of course), I’m trying to insure there is plenty of Elliebelly Yarn in the Etsy Shop for you to choose from.  I’m adding a little bit every day, so make sure you keep checking in.  Today’s addition is BFL Constant.

You can tell from the colorways that there was a little Hamilton thing going on in the studio when BFL Constant hit the dyepots!  I love these colors, separately and together.

BFL Constant is perfect for everything from socks to accessories to sweaters.  It’s soft but it holds its shape.  You can get an idea of how well it performs by looking at projects knit with this yarn on Ravelry.  I especially love the tri-colored socks.

It’s also perfect for patterns that require detail, like these Roses for Marjorie socks.

BFL Constant is a great choice for the sock knitting category in this year’s Adventurous April KAL.  You can also use it alone or combine it with other fingering weight bases for the Find Your Fade of your dreams — another of our KAL choices.  I hope you’ll knit with us this year.  If you’re going to use Elliebelly, please purchase your yarn in our shop by next Thursday morning to insure delivery in time to cast on.



Elliebelly Shop Update!

It’s almost here!  My favorite month, April, when we have the annual Elliebelly Knit Along.  If you’ve knit with us before, you know it’s a little bit of creative anarchy.  This year, we’re looking at patterns in four categories: Sweaters, Bulky Hats, Shawls/Cowls, and Socks.  I encourage you to wander over to the group, vote on the pattern choice threads, and make sure you sign up for the KAL later this week when we finalize our pattern choices.

Smitten Fingering 120

This year, for the first time in many years, there will be plenty of Elliebelly Yarn available for your knitting pleasure during Adventurous April.  I snuck a few things into my Etsy Shop over the weekend (a number of you seem to have found them) and am adding a few more today, starting with the first batch of the incomparable Smitten Fingering 120.  It’s a silk/yak/merino blend in slightly oversized skeins of 523 yards for your shawl knitting pleasure.  Five new colorways have been designed just for the Yak blends.  Grinch, Merry and Bell Bottoms are pictured above.  There are is a pinky brown, Linwood Road, and a deep cocoa brown, Llyr, as well.


Vespers, a new paintbrush colorway, is also in the shop of a new of different bases.  It looks beautiful knit up, and whether you have a simple garter stitch or stockinette project, or something more complex in mind, it’s a winner.  You’ll get some amazing results using Vesper for lace, cables, or other patterns with texture.  I hope you’ll find something you like!


More Fairisle

Yesterday’s flight to Denver gave me the chance to knit without interruption.

The Oakleaf chart I’m currently working on is the third in a series of four charts on the body of the Sjølingstadkofta sweater, and it runs for 60 rows. I’m now halfway there.

You can see the oakleaves shaping up now.

Although it  looks complex, it’s not a difficult knit at this point. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.


Elliebelly’s Newest Yarn: Yak Silk DK

Sometimes a knitter needs a yarn with exquisite drape, but enough shape for lace to show beautiful and cables to twine in perfect relief from a field of stockinette or garter.  Enter Yak Silk DK.  65% Superwash Merino, 20% Silk, and 15% Yak. Each skein has 231 yards of lovely, plump yarn.

This week, Yak Silk DK will has its premiere in the Elliebelly Etsy Shop.  Pictures here: Camden, Tin Roof, and Hula Girl. Knit a hat or some fingerless mitts in a single color or combine two or more for a shawl. This yarn will knit up at a true DK weight and it’s a pleasure to knit with.


Back To Fairisle

I picked up my Sjølingstadkofta sweater last night, after a long hiatus.  And, I immediately fell in love again.  I’ve now finished the second (and shortest) of the three charts that make up the fairisle body of the sweater, Roses.  Next up is Oak Leaves, a 60 row chart that repeats over 198 body stitches — a nice little step down from the 300+ stitches in Roses, because I’ve now separated the sleeve stitches from the body, and won’t be working them until I go back to knit the sleeves.  The yarn, Plucky’s Oxford, is a dream to knit with.  And I love fairisle.  Absolutely love it.  I can’t wait to set up for Oak Leaves and get to work!