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The First Weekend Of Adventurous April

The annual Elliebelly Knit Along has started, and although I haven’t had the chance to make a lot of progress yet, two of my projects are off to a slow but steady start.

First up, my Ceramic Flowers Cowl.

This is Vespers on Pussy Willow, such a pale, whisper of a yarn.  I can’t get over how perfectly it matches the project bag, so sorry to keep showing that off, but if I could, I would design a room around that fabric/color combo.  This project is going to be slow going as it’s 200+ stitches knit in the round.  I’m still on the garter stitch border, but hope the pace will pick up once I hit the lace patterning.  Until then, I’m enjoying the silky feel of this yarn and, did I mention, the color.

I’ve also cast on for Mirren, a bulky cabled hat.

I always say I’m not an orange person, until, suddenly, I see a skein in the 20th Century colorway, and fall in love all over again.  This is my kind of orange — not too Halloween, but definitely cheerful on a snowy day.  And subtle.  I love the variations in tone the layers of different orange undertones bring out in the final yarn. I love the pattern too — it’s well written and uses an innovative combination of a Twisted German and Traditional Long Tail  cast ons.  Love that I was forced to up my game and learn a new skill!

If you haven’t already joined the KAL, you’re welcome to do so at any time.  We’re located on the Elliebelly Ravelry Group and, of course, PRIZES!  I’ve just awarded the first set for successful cast ons.  Two participants will be receiving Elliebelly Tapas sets — 5 coordinating 20 gram skeins.  As if you need a reason to knit, come join us as we knit our way through April and give away a little yarn to boot.

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Adventurous April Knit Along — Game On!

It’s April 1, and that means it’s KAL time!

I cast on for my first two projects last night.  That’s Ceramic Flowers on the left and my Mirren Hat on the right.  I was so excited that I stayed up until midnight to get started.  I’m well into the brim of the hat now, and looking forward to getting started on the cables.  If you’re keeping track, the yarn I’m using is Elliebelly Pussy Willow on the left and Talia Bulky Merino on the right.  Also in the works is a bulky Maya Shawl in Basilisk and a pair of socks in BFL Constant.  I’m enjoying all the yarn and the different colors!

If you haven’t joined in yet, I hope you will.  You’ve still got time to peruse the project threads, pick a project or two and join in.  Although some of us will complete one or more projects during April, others will be CASTING ON ALL THE THINGS.  You’re welcome to join us at any time, and to knit with any yarn you like.  This year, you can score some Elliebelly in my Etsy Shop, but because the KAL started in the years when I wasn’t dyeing for sale, I’m continuing the tradition of making the KAL available to everyone.  We’re knitting for the fun and the fellowship, and it’s always a great chance to make new knitting friends.

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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!

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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.

 

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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

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!

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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.