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What I’ve Knit In The KAL So Far

In the first week of the annual Elliebelly Knit Along, Adventurous April, I knit this Mirren Hat.

It’s knit in Elliebelly’s Talia Bulky Merino in the 20th Century colorway.  I think it still needs a pom pom, but couldn’t resist snapping a couple of post-blocking photos for you to see while I try and decide between a pom pom from the yarn the hat is knit with vs. using one of my Toft Alpaca poms to finish this one off.

Now I’m moving on to my Ceramic Flowers Cowl and will also do some work this week on a WIP sweater that’s part of my KAL goals.  I’m having some trouble with my right elbow — is there such a thing as knitter’s elbow?  It’s slowing me down at the moment in the most annoying way.  I hope it will disappear as magically as it showed up.

And what’s up with this photo?  It’s that time of year where a refreshing drink while knitting is very welcome. I mix up a batch of syrup every week and keep it in the fridge in one of my weck jars.  The basic recipe is 1C Water, 1/2 C. honey which you bring to a boil and stir until fully dilute.  Let boil for 5 minutes and then cool to room temperature.  As you can see from the bottle above, this syrup goes fast, even though I usually mix up several cups at a time.  In this photo, I added lavender blossoms from my garden to the syrup and poured it over a sliced Meyer Lemon before chilling.  I then use a couple of fingers of syrup diluted over ice in a glass that’s filled with either regular or soda water.  For an additional quick, you can squeeze a lemon or an orange and add the syrup to strained juice before diluting.  And, you can doctor the syrup with anything you have on hand.  I frequently use some sliced fresh ginger, and this morning, added some tumeric root and fresh strawberries into the mix.  I love to keep a glass of this alongside while knitting lately.

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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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The Cashmere is Mine

I’ve had to fend off attacks from various cats to maintain a claim to my blue cashmere mitts.

kitty with knitting

But, they are mine.  All mine.  I love them, and I love knitting with this fine Mongolian Cashmere.  It’s über soft, even for cashmere.  Although I am bad to get a case of second sock (or in this case, second mitt) syndrome, I cast on for the second one as soon as I finished – minus the thumb – the first one.

Second mitt in progress

I’m hoping to finish them up today.  They’re just right for some late winter hiking over the weekend if the weather cooperates, and the cats keep their distance.

another kitty with the blue mitts

[Mitts knit with one skein of Elliebelly Coventry Cashmere in “Lady Mary.”  Available here.]

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Something New: How To Shop For Elliebelly Yarn

Despite the best laid plans, we are still working on site design.  In an effort to making it easy for you to buy a little Elliebelly Yarn in the meantime, my wonderful designer, Nicole, has added a direct link at the top of the page that lets you “shop.”  For now, it takes you to Elliebelly on Etsy, but I expect to have the shop relocated here in the next week or two.  Please come and visit me on Etsy in the meantime.  I’ve added a few items there, but if there is anything in particular you would like to see, let me know in the comments below or feel free to let me know using the contact form.

Elliebelly on Etsy

This is a sample of a few of the yarns that are available.  You may recognize Lyric in Catherine, Are You Weeping, on the top left from my Rob Roy Hat.

Rob Roy Hat Knit in Elliebelly Lyric

Sorbonne, one of my newest colorways, is the main color used in the hat I’ve just finished; available in Etsy and used in the hat on aran weight Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) yarn.

Hat knit with Elliebelly Yarn

I’ve tried to put a few things in the Etsy Store, without taking time away from the work we are doing on the site (some pesky, pesky bugs and an unexpected glitch with a plug in), so if there is anything you’ve seen on the blog that you JUST HAVE TO HAVE NOW, let me know, and I’ll be happy to add it in for you over the weekend.

Thanks for your patience.  I love you all for the support you’ve been sending and am looking forward to getting this baby across the finish line!

 

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New Year, New Yarn

Happy 2017!  It’s a new year, full of new promise.  In my case, that’s knitting promise.  This is the year I’m going to finish my impossibly complex fairisle sweater, I’m going to knit with all of my cashmere this year, and mostly, I’m going to have lots of fun doing it!  And, to get things off to just the right start, I have a new Elliebelly yarn to tell you about.  I like yarns that combine silk with wool.  It has to be just the right amount of silk: shine and softness, but enough wool that the yarn is still cushy and has great stitch definition.  And, of course, it has to be the right wool.  I’ve been lucky enough to have success with some silk-involved yarns over the years.  But I’ve had difficulty finding just the right worsted weight single-ply.  That is, until now!  I’ve finally found it, tested it, and fallen in love.

Elliebelly's Pussy Willow in the Vintage Silver Colorway
Vintage SIlver

This is Pussy Willow, 273 yards a skein, worsted weight, and I’m hopelessly in love!  It’s got a nice tight twist — essential in a single ply yarn.  You’ll see it kink just a bit in places, which is exactly what you want to insure it will knit up nicely.  And color.  Wow!  Color is the real reason I like having silk content in a yarn.  Yes, it does soften the blend, but it’s real virtue is the way it makes color so intense and beautiful.  I’ve dyed it up in several colorways and it never has a bad hair day.

Elliebelly Pussy Willow in Supernatural; Worsted Weight Silk/Merino Yarn
Supernatural

I am really looking forward to knitting with Pussy Willow this year!  It has so much potential.  I’d like to have a basic cardigan in this yarn, but also, I’m thinking it may want to become a cabled scarf, a chic little cowl (maybe in the new Grimoire colorway), and a pair of very fun, soft mittens.  Endless possibilities with this one!  I hope you’ll fall in love with Pussy Willow too!

Legacy

All of these colorways will be available in our first shop update, when Elliebelly reopens this month.  But just a word of warning, because I’m a very small, one woman dyeing operation, like all Elliebelly yarn, it will be available in limited supply.  To stay in touch and be the first to know about the details of our reopening store stockings, take a moment and sign up for our newsletter, in the box at the top of the page.

Catherine Are You Weeping on Pussy Willow
Catherine, Are You Weeping?

 

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Closing Out The Year In Green

Happy New Year’s Eve (or day, depending on where you find yourself at the moment). Before I head on out, I wanted to share a few last Elliebelly Yarn projects with you. Photos, compliments of my daughter who took a few quick snaps for me. When I looked at them, I realized I had selected four green projects. Perhaps that’s an omen for the new year, but I can’t think quite what it means, so I’ll simply close out the year with a few last bits of knitting eye candy for you.

Mitts Knit in Elliebelly Tree Wool

The pattern is Falberry Mitts and the yarn is Elliebelly Tree Wool Sport.  We love this yarn around here.  It’s the replacement for the beloved Elliebelly Sea Wool Sock Yarn, a yarn we were devastated when the mill discontinued it.  But now, we like Tree Wool even better and have been knitting with it a lot.  These mitts give you a good idea of why it has become such a favorite.

Rob Roy Hat Knit in Elliebelly Lyric

This is the Rob Roy hat I knit earlier this year.  It’s the first time I’ve gotten a decent photo of it.  The bit of white fluff at the top is perfect with Lyric, one of my newest yarns.  You can see the projects knit to date with Lyric here.  It’s a new-ish yarn, so there are only six of them, but wow does this yarn have pizazz!  This colorway is Catherine, Are You Weeping and it has become the new black in my wardrobe.  It goes with everything and it’s a bit of a chameleon depending on what you wear it with.  I’ll have this colorway on a number of different base yarns when we reopen.  I hope you’ll think it’s as special as I do!

Zigzagular Socks Knit in Elliebelly Juliet Merino

Zigzagular Socks were last year’s Adventurous April KAL choice.  Turns out, this pattern is perfected with a variegated sock yarn and is also the boss with our Paint  Brush colorways (here’s my sock from the KAL, knit in “Friends,” a Paint Brush yarn).  These socks are knit up in the Verdigris colorway.

Heart of Wales Shawl in Elliebelly Angel Fingering

And finally, the Prince of Wales Shawl, knit in Angel Fingering (I really don’t have a favorite yarn, but if I did, this would be it) in “Dido.”  It’s such a pretty shawl!  If you’re looking for a fun lace project in the new year, this is one that is so wearable that you will find yourself reaching for it constantly.  And I think it would be a lovely, functional shawl in one of the merino sock yarns but also definitely worth having in something luxurious like this Alpaca/Cashmere/Silk blend.

That’s my four green pieces for a cold, rainy new year’s eve.  Perhaps the green choices must mean that I’m looking forward to a beautiful spring this year and lots of opportunity to sit outside and knit in my garden.  It’s a wonderful idea, in any event.

Hope wherever you are, you are going to have a happy New Year and lots of beautiful adventures to look forward to in 2017.

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It’s A Test

We’re playing around with the website (as you can doubtless tell — we’re trying out colors and ideas and there may be some rough edges here and there for awhile).  And finally, the blog is here on the website, something I had difficulty making happen on my own.

I’m doing some test driving here.  This is the first post I’m making directly onto the website instead of blogging on Typepad and sending everything over here through the magic of the interwebs.  The interface is different, so I’m playing around a little bit here to see how it goes.  Once I’m sure that I’ve got it all figured out, I’ll post a redirect on typepad and set everything up so you can subscribe here.

Please let me know if you notice any glitches (or anything you particularly like or a feature that bothers you), as we work through getting the architecture of the site just right.  I’d love to have your input and I hope you’ll be patient as we sort it all out.

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