A Little Roving

I’ve been playing with some direct-from-farm Roving this week, trying to figure out which fibers I like best and playing with some new colors. 

I’m pretty crazy about this ball of wool! It’s an untreated organic Roving that takes the colors beautifully. Hoping there are some spinners and felters out there who can find some good uses for this pretty stuff!


At long Last, New Knitting

It’s just a small start, but I’ve finally found the perfect project for my favorite new yarn from the Plucky Knitter.  I’ve got six skeins of Groovy, dyed in her Highlander colorway. I’m more than just a little bit excited about the colorful yarn, but after looking and looking (and swatching and swatching, I couldn’t find just the right project for it until I came across the Rhea Cardigan.

It was clear to me immediately that this was the right sweater, even though the pattern is written for Quince’s aran weight linen tape yarn and its show here in a solid.  I wanted a comfortable, wear over anything cardigan, because I know all of the colors in Highlander will be just right with the simple patterning.

The pattern, which is well-written, has given me a bit of trouble at the start.  Note to self: knitting with a really bad sinus infection does not bring out your strengths.  And dropping down stitches to fix mistakes with Groovy, which is a felted cashmere yarn, was a little bit dicey.  Fortunately, issues are resolved and once you finish the first pattern repeat, you have a pretty good guide for what is happening in each of the ten rows in the repeat.  Despite my silly novice mistakes at the outset, I think I’ll get to the point where I can memorize the pattern and carry this one around with me to work on.  Here’s an early photo – you can see how incredibly lovely the color variation is on this wonderful, unique yarn.  Groovy is definitely a favorite for me!


Time Flies!

Time (and yarn!) have been flying around here lately.  We’ve been on the west coast for our oldest son’s law school graduation and are now back home for child #3’s high school graduation.  And all sorts of stuff in between!  Allergy season and a heavy dyeing schedule (there is a lot of new yarn in the shop for you to check out) have cut into my knitting time, but I wanted to share a couple of projects with you.

I’ve finished my Ceramic Flowers cowl and am in love with it!  It’s long enough to wear doubled for warmth (which I was surprised to need in San Francisco last weekend) but really pretty and decorative in a long loop in Elliebelly Pussy Willow, a 50 silk/50 merino yarn.  It also doubles as a convenient cat warmer.

We knit Ceramic Flowers as part of the Elliebelly KAL this April, and it was hit across a wide variety of base yarns.  You can also knit it in different weights, and could move up to an aran or even a bulky version by doing two pattern repeats instead of three (I chose to do two with my worsted weight version and am really happy with the result).  You cast on the long number of stitches and work in the round from top to bottom, so adjustments easy.  Some of my other favorite Elliebelly versions were Elizabeth’s version, also in Pussy Willow, Kate’s in Elliebelly Silky Wool, and Eleanor’s in Naiad Organic Merino (I had to include one of her early pictures, because I love her Liberty Fabric bag so much!)



We’re Blocking!

I’m blocking Maya.  And it turns out, it’s huge!

This is my Adventurous April KAL project, knit from Elliebelly Basilisk. I added an extra repeat onto each side of the shawl (breadcrumb: if you knit this pattern from Basilisk or a comparable yarn, don’t increase the size like I did.  It forced me to go into a fourth skein of yarn for about 4 yards of yarn) so it would be big enough to wrap around completely and it is definitely that! I loved knitting this pattern and I’m particularly impressed by how the yarn performed.  I had not used it before for a big swatch of stockinette, and I’m so impressed by it that I’m already plotting a sweater out of it in the Dear Theodosia colorway.

Maya is one of those projects that demands a good block to open up the lace pattern.  So I let it soak for 30 minutes in a no-rinse soap, sent it for a two minute spin in my spin dryer, and then aggressively pinned it in place until I could see the lace pattern clearly.  It should be dry by tomorrow — the spin dryer is amazing.  It cuts drying time by at least one-half and makes caring for hand knits much easier.  I have this one, but there are a number on the market and they all seem to get good reviews.

As strange as this seems, really counter intuitive for a bulky weight yarn, I plan on wearing this all summer.  Basilisk is 50% silk and as a result, it’s lofty and has lovely drape.  It’s going to be my go-to all summer.  I can’t wait!


What To Knit Next?

It has been a bumper week for new patterns on Ravelry.  Is it just me?  Surely I’m not the only one who wants to knit them all?  Literally, all.

I thought I would share a few of my recent favorites, in case anyone else is in a knitting slump and looking for ideas to kick start some mojo.

© Ann Myhre

First up, this adorable child’s sweater.  It’s written up to a size 9, but could easily be knit in a larger size if you don’t mind a bit of mathfu.  And, there are plenty of Elliebelly fingering weight yarns in stock, that could give you a look similar to the one pictured here.  Or, you can create your own color patterning (and don’t hesitate to use different fingering weights base yarns, they’ll look great together). You could also knit a sport, dk, or worsted weight version and use your gauge to get the right fit.  It’s as cute as can be and easy to customize.  As nice as it looks in the child’s size, I can’t help but imagine a worsted weight version for my daughter, who is headed up to college in New England.

© Bonnie Sennott

Bonnie Sennott’s fingering weight Spindler Mitts are a quick project, but very functional.  They look like the perfect gift! And they’d be amazing in Elliebelly’s new yak/silk blend, Smitten, pictured here in Grinch, but available in a number of different colorways.

Sackville is a new worsted weight shawl.  It’s lovely, but normally, I might think twice before taking on a worsted weight shawl for summer.  However, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks knitting one from Basilisk, my bulky-weight silk/merino blend, and the silk content makes it light and airy.  Perfect for summer nights.

© Laura Chau

Sackville would be amazing in Elliebelly Pussy Willow, a worsted weight, lofty, silk/merino blend.  It’s available in very limited quantities, but there’s enough in stock for a blossom pink, vintage silver, or supernatural blue (pictured below) version.

I like to do some of my gift knitting during the spring and summer, and this bulky cowl is the perfect quick project.  It will be on and off your needles, and ready for gifting, before you know it.

© Pickles

This cowl would be fabulous in any of our Elliebelly bulky weight yarns, but I would particularly love to see a variegated version, like Feeling Frisky.

Finally, Ambah O’Brien, whose shawl patterns are among my favorites, has killed it again with Bambara.  It’s four different colors of fingering yarn.  I love the option to use solids or to mix in some speckled or variegated yarns.  Contemplating a lightweight silk version for summer. Elliebelly’s Angel Fingering in Dido would be the perfect yarn to start with.

© ambah obrien

I hope you’ll find something you can’t wait to knit in this new crop of patterns.  As much as I love the feeling of finishing a project, somehow, there is nothing quite as wondering as planning, plotting (swatching!) and casting on something new.  It’s time to pick a few new favorites and gear up for spring knitting!


Bad Moments in Airplane Knitting

My flight is delayed (bad weather near Philly) and I’ve just realized the ball of yarn I’m currently using is going to run out before I make it home. And, the next skein is in my now-checked bag.

I’m sad I won’t be able to finish my Maya Shawl on this flight. It incredibly grateful all my smart Ravelry friends encouraged me to carry a second project along with me. I was thinking about taking just one, since I had so much left to knit, but am now really happy I’ve got yarn for a new project I’ve been swatching for along with me!


Flying & Knitting: April 2017 Edition

I’m back to knitting and flying. Happy to have my Maya Shawl along with me for a turbulence-laden first leg of my trip today. Fortunately, I was on one of the engrossing lace bits and barely noticed it. 

Hopefully, I’ll finish up with Maya on this trip and move back to Ceramic Flowers, which has been languishing since I cast on Maya. I’ve not lost any enthusiasm for it, in fact, these are two patterns I’m really enjoying, as well as looking forward to wearing. 

A strange thing about Maya. I’m knitting it from Elliebelly Basilisk, which is a bulky silk/Merino blend. I’ve got a fisherman’s rib scarf knit from it that I wear constantly. You would expect this yarn to be heavy, but it’s light and wonderfully drapey. I wish sharing Maya with a friend at out Easter brunch and we decided the fabric was perfect for a lightweight summer sweater. I’m going to plan a project, looking for summer sweater knit from Aran tape linen yarns. I think it will be a perfect substitution.