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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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My Life: The Edge of Chaos

It's been a busy few weeks here.  Work has been crazy.  Family has been crazy.  Life has been crazy.  All in a very good way, but still, CRAZY TOWN.  So it only seemed appropriate when I got on the elevator for a meeting I was scheduled to attend late last week, and the floor where I was headed had been renamed.

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That more or less summs up how my days have been going.  So, with huge apologies for not blogging and doing a horrible job of staying in touch with all of my favorite knitters the past couple of weeks, I'm back.  Back with my %$#@& KAL sock.  I love this sock.  Love the pattern.  Love the way the colors are laying down.  It practically knit itself with all of the flying I've been doing.

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Is there some trauma associated with the Kitchener stitch and late nights?  If there isn't, I must be cursed.  I love knitting top down socks, and a big part of the reason is that I enjoy Kitchener stitch.  It's like magic — you weave a little and the toes line up perfectly.  There was no magic with this sock.  It looked awful when I finished.  I ripped it out, and you'll never guess, but that bad 1:00 am lighting in my living room combined with tiny size one needle stitches was really not a thing.  I sort of got them back on the needles.  I tried it again while driving (I was the passenger, not the driver — I'm not that close to the edge) on an overcast day with bad lighting, and it came out even worse.  And ripping it out made me sad because, as you all know, sometimes, you're loose track of where you are when all those tiny size one stitches pop right off the needles as you go over a bump.

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My stitches are on, but not in the right order or on the right needles.  It's going to take some sorting out to figure when I am, so I'm going to gently and lovingly place this sock in time out, and cast on for its mate.  I'm pretty sure my Kitchener mojo will come back, but it's going to require a serious combination of all of my favorite comfort foods — and some bright lighting.

While I was out of town and away from the blog, some really exciting things happened.

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I visited my College, which I hadn't done in over a decade, and found out that all of the things I loved about it were still there, but even better.  Sometimes, you actually can go back.  Even better, on the return drive to the airport, I discovered a B&B/Alpaca Farm.  I was concerned about being the crazy lady who stopped on the middle of the road to take pictures of the Alpacas, so you just get this one sneak peek, but it's definitely on my shortlist.  The online reviews say to make sure you visit with Brutus, who is a very friendly Alpaca. Oh my heavens!

The sense that I was living in a surreal fantasy world where all of my dreams came true continued when I got home and realized that for my husband's birthday, I could order his favorite cake.  It's a day long adventure to make it, so I was delighted to reduce it to a 15 minute pick up detail.  Although we had friends over, there were leftovers.  The cat with the cake is Bob.  I was definitely much more restrained and lady like than that.

And finally, the square of concrete is my long awaited fire pit.  We have a small, urban yard with a strong down hill slant, but as we've lived through our six months of hell deck reconstruction and landscaping, I've persistently insisted that we include a fire pit in the project.  In anticipation, I dragged kids out to World Market, and snagged some fabulous outdoor chairs on sale last weekend.  As soon as the pit is dry, I'm christening it with S'mores.  But, I'll make sure I leave my socks and needles behind.  Because It's been that kind of month!

 

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Knit Along Yarn

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Suzb626, a/k/a my sweet real life friend Suzanne – the very last skein of KAL Giveaway yarn for Adventurous April 2016 is yours.  You can thank the random number generator gods and lucky #3 on your Instagram comments.  Please message me and let me know the best way to get this yarn in your hands for the April 1 KAL start.

I'm looking forward to casting on for socks on April 1.  I'll be midway through a trip to look at a few colleges with my junior, so I'll be happy to have the prospect of socks and a nice cup of tea at night after trudging around during the day!  I hope everyone is in the final stages of getting ready for the KAL.  See you in our chat thread on the Ravelry group as we finalize our plans.

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Sock Yarn Winners

PicMonkey CollageWith two weeks left before the start of our April Knit Along, it's serious time for project planning and yarn acquisition.  On the yarn acquisition front, we are an inclusive KAL and welcome knitters who show up with any yarn they choose.  But, I know a lot of you like knitting with Elliebelly yarn, so I've tried to get a bit of it out there for you.  This week, I drew three random yarn winners from among those who have their KAL Project Page set up on Ravelry, using the tag ElliebellyAdventurousApril2016: Frucat, Pegmcc, and TeddyandNick.  Depending on the project on your page, you've got either two skeins of Pixie Worsted for your Rye Socks or a skein of Decadence for Zigzagular on the way to you!

If you're new to the Elliebelly group on Ravelry or to our annual knitalong, I hope you'll decide to join us.  You will find all the KAL information there, but it's a friendly group that will jump in to answer any questions you may have.  We start on April 1 and are knitting several different sock patterns in different weights this year. 

I'll do one last quick yarn giveaway later this week to make sure I get the yarn into the hands of the knitter in time for the start.  Has anyone started swatching yet?  I keep meaning to, and have wound my yarn, but so far, I haven't gotten there.

 

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Adventurous April KAL: The Third Yarn Giveaway

This week's yarn giveaway for the Elliebelly Adventurous April KAL will let you get a head start on organization for the KAL.  To win, set up your project page for the KAL on Ravelry.  Here's mine, as an example.

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If you haven't set up a project page before, it's easy.  Go into Ravelry and find the pattern you are going to knit, then click on the link to start the project.  Once you create your project, you can click edit to adjust the details, for instance giving your project a name and showing an April 1, 2016 start date.  You can do this even if you haven't picked a pattern yet, by naming a project and choosing a personal pattern (not in Ravelry) as your pattern for now, with the ability to go in and edit it once you decide.  

Hashtag

The most important thing to do?  Tag your pattern with ElliebellyAdventurousApril2016 (all one word) and Elliebelly.  On Saturday, I'll search the tags on Ravelry and randomly select winners from those who've tagged their projects this way, so it's important to get it in there exactly right so that your project shows up in the search results.  There will be some yarn included in this giveaway that is worsted weight for those knitting Rye as well as some fingering weight for those planning on doing Zigzagular or other traditional sockweight patterns.  Put enough info into your project page so that I know which weight of yarn to send you if you are one of the lucky winners!

If you haven't signed up yet for the Elliebelly Adventurous April Knit Along, all the details you need to know can be found in the Ravelry group.  Leave a comment below if you need any additional help and I'll get back to you.  You don't have to have Elliebelly yarn for this KAL — knit with anything your heart desires.  But, I'll be doing a few more giveaways this month to insure there is Elliebelly yarn available to help out those who want to knit with it.