What is Your Favorite One Skein Pattern? (Blog Give Away)

Last week, I wrote about knitting small projects and enjoying the meditative value of simple knitting. So, now I'm curious: what is your favorite one skein knitting pattern?  If you tell me about your favorite pattern in the comments, you will be entered in a drawing to win yarn for your pattern choice!


One skein patterns can be quick and satisfying. (Pictured above, Ellie, knitting a Cherry Branch Hat out of Elliebelly Basilisk).  Especially during the hottest part of summer, one skein knits are great projects.

In the comments below, tell me about your favorite one skein pattern.  It doesn't matter if it's written for Elliebelly yarn or not, because, patterns can be adapted to different yarns as long as the weight and drape is a good fit.  On July 1, we'll have a drawing to pick one lucky winner from the entrants.

Here are some of my other favorites one-skein projects from Ravelry knitters to get you started:

ShellBelle76 knit Malabrigo Hand Thingies in a skein of Elliebelly Coventry Cashmere.


Angelicasays did a Rainbow Wave from Elliebelly Angel Sock.


Squeakybeans knit some Toast armwarmers from a skein of Elliebelly Ellie-Blue Blue Faced Leicester.


What beautiful projects by a group of amazing knitters!  Post your comment below to enter the give away.  I'm looking forward to seeing what your favorite patterns are!


What Would You Knit With It?

I've been doing some dyeing for myself, as well as some for prizes at the close of the Adventurous April Knitalong.  I thought it would be fun — and helpful too — to show off the yarn and ask what you would knit with it if it came to live with you.  You can respond in the comments here or in this thread on the Elliebelly Group on Ravelry.


The first yarn is BFL Silk Sock — It’s a 55% superwash Blue Faced Leicester/45% Silk yarn with 438 yards to the skein.  It’s a fingering weight, and I’ve dyed two skeins of it.

The colorway is Strawberry Roan — inspired by our trip to Iceland and the “Little Horses” (we were told it’s an insult to call them ponies) that populate the island. The Strawberry Roan horses were so pretty and particularly sweet.


Also inspired by our Iceland trip, this is the Gullfoss colorway on aran weight Blue Faced Leicester.  There are 183 yards in a 100 gram skein, and again, I've dyed two skeins.


Panda is a silk and bamboo blend, roughly 50/50 that has 150 meters to a 100 gram skein.  This is a new-to-Elliebelly yarn that I'm testing out for the first time.  I am very fond of the sheen so far — the yarn seems to glow from within.  There are two skeins of this and I wish I had dyed more as it would make a lovely large summer weight Clapotis for wrapping up on the beach at night or for movies in the park!


Pink Loves Brown is a classic Elliebelly colorway that I've dyed here on 8-Ply Coventry Cashmere.  Each two ounce skein has 130 yards, and I've dyed two in this colorway.


As yet unnamed, this new colorway was my effort to replicate some of the rich blues and greens we saw on our Iceland trip.  The three dye bath process was definitely worth it.  I've dyed four skeins of this colorway on 8-ply Coventry Cashmere, again with 130 yarns per skein.


Finally, another classic Elliebelly colorway, Lakehouse.  This is on aran weight BFL, with two skeins of 183 yards each.  It's been a long time since I dyed this colorway, and it took all the strength I could muster to avoid casting on with it immediately.  I love how the golden strands peak out from between the variety of blues and greens in this colorway.

So, friends and knitters, what would you knit with this yarn?  What patterns have you been dreaming over?  Inspire me.  Motivate us all.  It's so much fun to see different knitters' take on the same yarn!



What I Did

This is the story of my trip to get to my business trip, which turned out to be a really exciting mini-vacation for 24 hours.  I started in Connecticut for a really momentous event, the 21st birthday of my oldest child.  (He loved the Honegart Hat I knit for him).  This post has a lot of photos, but let 'em load — you will want to see this all the way to the bottom!

Before I get too much further, if you are looking to score some Elliebelly Yarn, click here.


I had to get from Connecticut to Vermont, and it turned out that it was cheaper to drive than fly, so I took a day off and drove, stopping along the way at, um, yarn stores.

First I went to Creative Fibers, near Hartford.  It turned out that the incredibly friendly woman behind the counter was none other than Julie Cashin, author of several adorable baby sweater patterns, who I was really delighted to meet in person.  She looks great standing in front of all that yarn!


Next I drove into Masachusetts at stopped at WEBS.


It felt like a pilgrimage.  The store was beautiful and full of amazing yarn, and I was so happy I stopped there.  I saw this amazing sweater sample — a Madeline Tosh hoodie that I grabbed pattern and yarn for.


I was overjoyed to stumble across an entire display of Juniper Moon Yarn from Shepard Susie.  It was so much fun to see it in person, and it made me even more impatient for the sheep on the farm to grown my CSA share — grow sheep, grow!


But I really didn't get what WEBS was all about until I wandered to the back of the store and discovered a warehouse, full of racks and racks of yarn in bags.  Good yarn.  Amazing yarn.  I surrendered myself to the experience and engaged in stash nirvana.


This should have been enough, and it almost was — I found out that a planned detour in Vermont was out of the question because of roads still damaged by Irene.  I drove straight up 91 and by total luck (and need for gas) came across the Green Mountain Spinnery.


It was a teensy little yarn store, because (O.M.G.) most of the building is occupied by a spinning operation, using equipment from the 1910's and 1950's.  It was, in a word, amazing.


The folks in the shop were incredibly nice, and stopped what they were doing to give me a tour of their operations, from the unwashed fleeces, to carding, to pulling the yarn into batts, and then ultimately into long thin ropes of roving that are spun into singles, steamed, and then plied into beautiful yarn.  It was totally fascinating and I only dragged myself away to buy some of their incredible yarn, including these skeins, which are plant dyed.


And this wool/alpaca blend.


And this sock yarn, which begged to come home with me.


Then I went on to business and meetings and accomplished a lot of good things (and some knitting late at night).

Strangely, on the way home, the woman on the plane next to me was knitting some beautiful, intricate lace.  It turned out to be Evelyn Clark's Swallowtail Shawl and the knitter turned out to be Grace, a/k/a LilMsDramaPants, whose knitting I have stalked on Ravelry for quite some time now.  What are the odds?


Isn't her knitting stunningly beautiful?  I think you can see this one in person at SAFF and it is well worth it!

A 24-hour yarn hop is definitely a rejuvenating event.  I highly recommend one, wherever you find yourself.


What Do You Do When You Are Out Of Yarn?

I never cease to be amazed by the ways in which people convince themselves that something that is clearly not right is actually okay or even good.

You might think that this is a very successful knitting project in the works for a very sweet young man.


But you would be wrong.

I spent the better part of the week not knitting on this sweater, while telling myself I had plenty of yarn to finish the sleeves and the ribbing at the bottom.  Briefly, I entertained the possibility of finishing out the sweater with a solid gray yarn — a moment of deep practicality.  Then I pushed the notion aside and reminded myself I still had three partial balls of yarn and everything would be, well, okay.  Or even good.

Last weekend I hedged my bets by starting in on the sleeves early.  I knitted the body of the sweater just far enough to do the last button hole, leaving a couple of inches of ribbing at the bottom to be done.  I started one sleeve, and then I told myself that just to be sure, I would start the second one.  At this point I had three circular needles and three balls of yarn attached to the sweater, and knitting the third sleeve was an interesting dance of needles and tangling balls of yarn.

And then this happened:


Two partial sleeves.  Two rapidly diminishing balls of yarn in ziploc bags.

I can "catch up" the shorter sleeve on the left to the length of its mate is on the right with the remaining yarn.  But that is about it, as you can plainly see.



Really, I knew.  I knew this day was coming.  After I exhaust these two little stubs of yarn, I'm going to have to bring out the gray — I have some lovely Alpaca — and pray that I can get gauge.  And that it doesn't looks stupid, a sort of a "hey, I ran out of yarn but I'm trying my best" sweater.  I'm hoping I can embrace the mistake and that it will look like an intentional design element or at least that it won't look like a total disaster and become the kind of sweater all children fear their mother may knit them some day.  In the future, I will try to keep myself from ignoring the impending train wreck, or maybe just recognizing that when the math on yardage is a little bit tight at the outset of a project, it likely won't improve with time.

Despite all of this, I am oddly delighted with this sweater.  I like the bulky Elliebelly Talia Merino yarn and I love how the colors play together.  The Ragman pattern is simple, but a joy to knit and not in any way boring.  So I'm going to suck it up, start knitting with the gray yarn, hope for the best, and trust that  another solution will present itself if the gray yarn doesn't work out.


Elliebelly Knit Along Announcement & Elliebelly Give Away (Merlin Merino)

We are closing in on the start of the first ever Elliebelly knit along, which will begin on Saturday, August 13.

If you haven't already, pick out a pattern!  This is a free style knit along — you knit the pattern of your choice using any Elliebelly yarn.  Along the way, we'll have fun, prizes, and knitting support.  I'm looking forward to featuring everyone's knitting on the blog so we can all see each other's works in progress.  What a great way to get some late-summer-anticipating-fall-knitting started!

Still wishing you had some Elliebelly in your stash?  Here's a bit to help out.  A quick giveaway to give faithful blog readers a quick chance.  This is two skeins of Elliebelly's Classic Merlin Merino in "Fire Dragon."  Merlin is a 3-ply merino and there are about 560 yards in the 8 ounces up for grabs here.  Post in the comments, telling me what you will use this yarn to knit in the knit along and I'll pick a winner Sunday night, so get your posts in quickly!



Yarns I’m Dyeing To Knit With

I am dyeing and dying to knit with the follow yarns:

  • A new sport weight 65% Cashmere/35% Merino blend yarn I happened upon and grabbed a pound of to experiment with.  I am insanely crazy about the first two test skeins I dyed.

Elliebelly silk cashmere knitting yarn

elliebelly silk cashmere yarn

I am thinking that I will use one skein for Mary-Heather Cogar's Simple Things scarf.

mary-heather cogar simple things hand knit scarf elliebelly yarn

I am seriously thinking about devoting the second skein to the Eleanor Cowl from Knitty.  I am hoping this yarn will live up to my expectations when I knit with it.  I love the blend.  I'm also considering doing a larger version of Simple Things, alternating knitting with both skeins.

  • Elliebelly Merlin Merino — an experiment, since I don't often work with predominately orange colorways, but wanted one with just hints of green and purple mixed in with the hot colors.  I'm exceedingly happy with this as-yet unnamed colorway. 

elliebelly pixie merino knitting yarn orange

I haven't made a final decision about what to use this yarn for, so I would welcome any ideas you might have for it!  I am giving serious consideration to Regina Satta's Thanks Socks pattern, which would have the added benefit of letting me practice my rusty German, since it is written in both English and German.  It's a free knitting pattern on Ravelry and although I would have to monkey with the sizing since my yarn is a slightly heavier weight, I think it would look great in this pattern.

Thanks Socks Free Knitting Pattern

What yarns are you dying (or dyeing) to knit with right now?  It's summer, if you're in the south like I am, it's incredibly hot.  Little, light weight projects like these are irresistable for this time of year.  What do you have in the works?

[If you are looking for the Playsilk Blog Give Away, make sure you scroll down to the next post.  And yes, all photos from others are used with their permission.]


Changing Things Up At The Elliebelly Knitting Blog

As several of you have noticed, thanks to the lovely Kelly at Seventeen Stone, I have a cool new blog design.  Kelly was incredibly patient and seemed to intuitively understand what I wanted.  She was so easy to work with!  Thank you Kelly.

I hope you all like it as much as I do!

To celebrate, I'm going to do several giveaways between now and the end of July.  Yes, there will be yarn.  Possibly some of the Elliebelly "Melted Crayon" on Naiad Organic Merino I'm in the middle of dyeing for myself.  Certainly some crackle-dyed Elliebelly Playsilks.  I'm also planning to write up my Cabled Afghan pattern, and will offer it for free at some point during this time period.  And any other cool stuff I decide to share with my friends.  Maybe some art.  So click the orange RSS feed bottom on the left side of the blog to add me to your reader, or remember to check back in a couple of times a week.  Because of my crazy schedule, there is no predicting when or for how long I'll do this.  Just a little bit of summer fun for y'all and a great way, in fact, the only way to score some Elliebelly this summer.