one of these things….is a lot like the other….

I always find Eileen Fisher inspiring, although I don’t really live the life where her clothes would fit into. I’m not the only one; there’s a Ravelry group about Eileen Fisher style. I was browsing the website and came across the two images on the right of the fingerless mitts, and thought, hmmmm, those look remarkably like the Colorblock Handwarmers from the Purl Bee! It does look like there is a seam on the Eileen Fisher ones though.

Mind, I’m not accusing anybody of copying anybody– it’s not a novel idea– but I do find it interesting when these things happen. And fun, because one can easily make themselves some fingerless mitts in the Eileen Fisher style…and if working from scraps in stash, for a lot less than $68! Actually, my mini skein sets would work really well for these…

 

New Inspirations

New Books

Like it does in Northern California, the weather abruptly changed from a heat wave to it really feeling like Fall. We’ve started to use the extra blanket again (ok, I know that compared to other places our weather is positively balmy, but we’re wusses.), I’ve dug out my slippers that look like giant puppies, my breakfast is switching to hot oatmeal instead of cold cereal, the cat starts wanting to sleep inside (in the middle of the path to the kitchen, nonetheless) and I can’t stop dreaming about new warm knits.

So I was doubly exciting about receiving both these new books (well, new to me, as regards the Nordic Knitting one) in the mail the other day. I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love books about knitting history– nothing makes me happier than a really good juicy one– meaning lots of text. Photos are important of course, but I really like to read. Plus it had been a while since I’d come across any new-to-me books, although, to be fair, I hadn’t really been looking, since I can get a little carried away and I wanted to conserve the pennies. This book, however, was within my budget and looked awesome. It is awesome. Written by Susanne Pagoldh and published by Interweave Press, “Nordic Knitting: Thirty-One Patterns In The Scandinavian Tradition” has patterns, yes, but even better: lots of information. Information about knitting traditions in Denmark, The Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Aland, and Finland. I’ll be re-reading this one for sure.

I loved Gudrun Johnston‘s first Shetland Trader book (I couldn’t find a direct link to the book itself in Ravelry), so I was excited to see the preview photos of Book Two. Although digital is more convenient for knitting from, I will always and forever love the physicality of books, and purchasing the physical book also got me the digital patterns– seriously, choose that option; it’s a steal.

My favorites are the Hermaness Hats– that preview pattern was what drew me in in the first place. (photographs belong to Kathy Cadigan and Gudrun Johnston)

Hermaness Hats

 

and Sandwick:

Sandwick_small2

Actually, Sandwick might be my favorite. (no surprise there, gradients!)

The garments are beautiful too, but these are the two patterns that realistically I am the most likely to knit and wear. Especially Sandwick.

First, though, once I finish my Boxy (I’m on the sleeves, there is light at the end of the tunnel!), I think an Owls pullover in some brown Cascade Ecological Wool that I’ve had forever is in order. After all this stockinette in size 4s, size 10s are going to be bliss! Plus I’m cold and I want something I can knit relatively quickly.

 

Epic Project continued

sample skein rainbow 3

There’s another aspect of the Epic Project– sample mini skeins! Actually, that’s how the project came about to begin with– I’d been very slowly gathering tiny skeins of dye colors for reference, but realized that a binder of “pages” would be more useful for scanning. However, the skeins are great in putting side by side to compare colors, see what goes well together, etc. So every time I make one of the little squares, I also then wind off enough to make a little skein of the colour, and tag it with what dye it is.

sample skein rainbow 2

These are just a handful of the skeins…there will end up being many, many more! I have to say, though, these photos make me so happy! Endless colour, endless possibilities…I love it.

They also start gears turning in my head about other possible mini-skein sets….

(Big) Work in Progress

I have a LOT of dyes. I use 4 different brands of dyes, and a couple of them are always coming out in new colors. Which of course I have to buy! It can be a bit overwhelming (but awesome) if I step back and look at it:

Studio dyes shot

I’m obviously not very neat and tidy. Ever. The studio pretty much perpetually looks like this:

Studio shotand is basically as small as this– there are a couple feet more to the left…but that’s it. I keep the propane tanks chained up in our (fenced) front (concrete) yard.

Some of the colors are my go-to every time, and have been for years, so I’m pretty familiar with their colors and how they will come out, but there are so many others that I either rarely use or don’t use as much as those. Which means that I often can’t remember if a blue is bright, or has more purple or green in it, things like that.

So…..I’ve begun a rather epic project, a dye sample book.

Dye Sample Book 1 Dye Sample Book 2 Dye Sample Book 3

Like I said, epic, no? But already it’s been useful! Every time I’m dyeing, I try to dye up a couple tiny skeins of colors to add to it. Although I have to say the skeins are piling up faster than the wrapped samples are made….

But I love it. It will take ages, but will be so amazingly useful in the end– and along the way.

p.s. Bacchus Aran and Luxury Sock in GLOW colors are on sale– I’ve decided not to keep dyeing those bases in that color series. I will, however, dye them on special order if someone wants them in future, although they will need to be ordered in sets of 2. (I dye 2 skeins to a pot) So enter the discount code SALE at checkout in the shop for 20% off those two yarns that are dyed in GLOW colors!

New and Shiny

I’ve got to restock some of the new yarns in the shop, but until then, I wanted to introduce some of the new yarns!

Rustic Silk Worsted: a single ply, thick, pure silk yarn– a perfect wool substitute for those who can’t wear or work with wool, actually!

pink-orchid-rustic-silk-worsted-web

Rustic Silk Lace– also a single, leaning more towards light fingering– I can see gorgeous light garments with this….

Spume:

Spume-Rustic-Silk-Lace-web

American Squishy DK– this yarn is seriously squishy. I do not lie. It’s begging to be knit up into cables! At 300 yards for $25, it’s a steal.

Orchid-squishy-dk-2-web

 

Silky DK– 50/50 superwash merino and silk. Feels absolutely amazing.

Mineral:

Mineral-silky-dk-web-4

 

There’s also Siren Two Sock (yay! it’s back) and Superwash Merino Singles…but I’m going to wait on a formal introduction until I’ve got some more listed. Plus some new colorways in High Twist Sock– I’ve been busy!

Enjoy! And keep watching the site, because I will be adding more….

 

 

WIP: Boxy

Processed with VSCOcam with n1 presetalthough it’s much farther along now, it’s still an uphill climb with the Boxy sweater by Joji Locatelli. I reduced the stitch count for the smallest by about 90 stitches, but it’s still a lot of stockinette. Perfect commuting project, although now it’s getting a bit heavy. I’m trying to knit on it as much as possible– a project with so many stitches on size 4 needles can easily become a languishing one! Except for the past few days, where I’ve been having some wrist problems, I’ve managed to knit on it every day.

Emerald-Isle-Silky-High-Twist-Sock-2-web

the yarn I’m using is Pigeonroof Studios Silky High Twist Sock in Emerald Isle, which is turning out to be just perfect, the silk adding a bit of sheen and drape. And the green is just awesome. I’m trying to keep motivated on this project because I want this sweater!

Ravelry Page here.

 

 

PRS in Twist Collective: Oleada

oleada_z_500Twist Collective holds the copyright to these photos which are used here with permission

A while back, I got an email Kate Gilbert (yes, that Kate Gilbert!) from Twist Collective saying that they had had some yarn support that fell through and they needed to get yarn to the designer ASAP, and would I be interested in providing said needed yarn support?

Interested would be understating it. I pretty much went totally giddy. Then I pulled myself together and suggested that instead of the now-discontinued merino/silk sock that was on the old Big Cartel site, she look at the yarn on the new website; it wasn’t launched yet, but I gave her the password.

Soon several skeins of Flamethrower and Clover in High Twist Sock from the GLOW series were winging their way to the designer, Mara Marzocchi. Then I just had to wait. Finally the Fall issue was out  and I eagerly scanned it for my yarn! I couldn’t be happier with the results: Oleada, a hat and mitten/mitt set.

oleada_c_500

Oleada Hat

I love the cabled details– they really make these accessories unique and special.

oleada_d_500

look at the gorgeous details

oleada_b_500the same details are on the mittens

oleada_a_500

An alternative fingerless mitt set

Where I live doesn’t get cold enough to warrant mittens, but I have a weakness for fingerless mitts and will definitely be making the Oleada fingerless mitts. I love how the mitts take on an almost botanical flair with the Clover colourway.

I will be making a set of my very own soon!

I can’t thank Twist Collective enough for giving me this fabulous opportunity to provide yarn support; not only is it a beautiful publication, I also have a tremendous amount of respect for Kate Gilbert and the rest of the Twist Collective staff that make it so informational, visually stimulating, and impeccably written patterns.

The Oleada pattern is on Ravelry here.