New Year, New Project. Welcome 2018!

I’m kicking off 2018 with a new project, a Shooter Shawl. This clever pattern is designed to take advantage of small skeins of contrasting yarn and a main color. I’m using an Elliebelly Tapas Set, along with some fingering weight Baby Willow. I think the contrast – Willow is a single ply silk merino blend while the Tapas skeins are a merino/nylon plied yarn – will add to the textural look of the shift from lace stitch to stockinette as the project progresses.

I hope you’ve got some new knitting planned as well to carry you into the new year! 2018 is off to a cold blast of a start, which has to be nature’s way of encouraging us all to knit.

If you’re new to Elliebelly, please join us on the Ravelry group. And if you’ve been around for a while, you know that if it’s the new year, it’s almost time to start thinking about our annual April knitalong, as well as participating in the Take A Picture Tuesday and Chat threads. Can’t wait to see everyone and their new (and old) projects there!


Never Knit With Black Yarn

I am that point in my 50’s where I’m constantly looking for the good light to knit in. And darker yarns, especially when knitting cables, are a real challenge. 

But Black is (Still) my favorite color and sometimes, you’ve just got to knit cables. Airplane lighting can be pretty good, and I got a nice start on Aspyn, in The Plucky Knitter’s newish Sweater Aran yarn, while flying. But it was a bit more of a challenge in hotel room lighting, although the view may have made up for that a bit!

I’m currently knitting my way through breakfast, apparently to the amusement of the servers. They gave me the good natural lighting by a window. 

And a fabulous, healthy breakfast to go along with it. 

Power breakfast for a burst of knitting this morning, before I get to work. 

Aspyn is a great choice for “hats for today” kind of knitting. At this Aran gauge it goes fast and you’ll have the pattern memorized after the first repeat. The smaller cable uses an approach I haven’t seen before, leaving the stitches on the needle but knitting them out of order. Trust the pattern and follow the clear directions. What looks like a mess for the first few rounds turns out to be a thing of beauty. But consider knitting in a color other than black if you want to go easy on your eyes. 


Almost, Almost Done

At six and one-half skeins in, I’m ready to start the final garter border and finish this shawl. I’ll be playing yarn chicken and have my swatch, which I’ve already unraveled, washed, and reskeined, handy. 

I love the pattern, based of feather and fan lace. It has a simple rectangular shape and very clean edges, produced by slipping the last stitch of every row and knitting the first stitch of each row through the back loop. 

It has taken me quite awhile to knit this and I’ll be finishing up just in time to wrap myself up and ward off chilly fall weather. 


Summer Yarn

Summer knitting always calls to me.  There was that summer I knit a huge infinity cowl at the pool.  It will be small, I told myself.  Portable.  It won’t be hot.  But really, it was.  Four worsted weight skeins later, it was a thing of beauty (I just pulled it out of my cedar chest for a trip to cooler weather late this month) and worth every minute of rather humid poolside knitting that went into it.  Finally, a few summers back, I succumbed to the joy of knitting with summerweight yarn.  I knit a sweater from Chemise, Elliebelly’s silk & linen blend, and revolutionized my summer knitting.

Chemise is a wonderful yarn for summer knitting. Over recent hot, humid Alabama summers, I’m increasingly drawn to knitting with it, recently adding a fingering weight “Baby Chemise” to the original sport weight offering. Along with other yarns like Sea Silk, it forms a great base for summer knitting, as well as for finished items you’ll wear in summer.

In addition to the fingering weight version of Chemise, I’ve added a new range of colors this summer, including this gorgeous green, Interregnum and a whole new array.

And most recently, a gently colorful version, for pretty summer shawls and accessories.

As you prepare for your July 4 BBQs and summer trips to the beach, don’t leave your knitting behind! Grab some Chemise or some Sea Silk, and take advantage of all the time you spend talking with friends and sitting poolside. The Elliebelly Shop is fully stop with linen and silk for you summer knitting needs. And if you need a quick fix in anticipation of a last minute trip, don’t hesitate to contact me and let me know you need especially quick shipping. Happy Knitting!



Playing Catch Up

I’ve been doing absolutely everything other than knitting and dyeing yarn for the last month. Family, friends, travel and even beginning to settle at my new teaching job for the fall. Also, in a really bizarre this-can’t-be-happening sort of moment, there was a sudden interest in information about the kind of work I did in my former job as a federal prosecutor and I spent some time commenting on TV news. It was fun and interesting, and I have new respect for the people who bring us the news every day! Definitely not planning on quitting my day job.

As an added plus, I found a lot of knitters who read the news on Twitter, so it’s all good.  This week, I’m back to knitting.  Actually, unknitting. First, there was this sweater, my Rhea, in my beloved Plucky Groovy in Highlander.  I was about a third done with the sweater when I realized I really wasn’t happy with my knitting.  There were some errors in the lace panels and because the yarn is slightly felted, it was almost impossible to drop 15 or 20 rows back and fix them.  I tried it for the first few mistakes, but finally hit one I really couldn’t fix, so I ended up ripping the whole thing out.  I love this sweater and want it to be perfect.

Once you rip out one project, you may as well go for broke, so I also pulled out two pairs of socks in progress that had been lingering, one because the yarn was a bad match with the pattern and the other something that hadn’t held my interest.  I think I’ll repurpose both skeins and need some of the Janina Kallio one-skein shawls in my queue.

This week, more knitting, and, moving into my new office.  I took the important things in on the first run – favorite books and a knitting project (that’s my Drachenfels, that had been languishing until I picked it up last week). Looking forward to getting back into my knitting groove this week. It’s about time!


A New Pattern For Elliebelly Yarn!

I’m so excited about this! Knitwear designer SKnitsB is working on for Elliebelly Basilisk and it’s almost done!

Spoiler alert: Susan is using four skeins of Berlin Flea Market on Basilisk. There are several colorways stocked in my Etsy shop and more coming. You could also knit this pattern using Elliebelly’s bulky weight Cosmopolitan Merino yarn. 


New In The Shop

Just in case you find yourself in desperate need of pretty new yarn this holiday weekend, I’ve just started stocking the shop.  There will be some Basilisk (hint: SKnitsB has a new pattern in the works that takes four skeins of this lovely yarn), a new colorway of Smitten 120, and some farm sourced roving in different blends. I’ve also got a few of the Tapas mini-skeins, like those that were offered as prizes during this year’s KAL to add to the shop.  And, I’ve just finished redyeing the almost completely decimated stock of Himalayan Sock Yarns in all of the colors I dye on the Yak bases, with the addition of Purple Rain.  Please stop by!  I hope you’ll find something you love.