They get to decide

When I was in college I took a history of religions class.  On the very first day, the professor declared (repeatedly and emphatically) that we would absolutely positively not under any circumstances be offering our own opinions on whether one group or another were ‘really’ any particular religion.  The official class position was “if they said they were, then as far as the class is concerned, they were.  They get to decide.”

It seemed reasonable to me then.  It has proven to be a pretty good way to handle a whole host of other identity issues in the intervening years.  And it’s coming in handy now as I put together yarns for Curls 3 (who said those history classes wouldn’t be useful…).

As I’ve been showing off the Curls 3 yarns, I’ve had quite a few people get in touch to say some variant of oh, that yarn is lovely, but it isn’t really speckles/a gradient/what you should be using for this book.  And I’m afraid I must hereby officially declare that my position is “if the dyer says it’s speckles or a gradient, it is.”  And, as a corollary, “if I say it’s what I plan to use for this book, it is.”

Now, I completely and totally understand if one yarn or another isn’t right for you.  That’s one of the other nifty things about this approach.  If you say a yarn isn’t right for you, it isn’t.  And that’s absolutely ok.  We all get to decide for ourselves.  It’s one of the most marvelous things about knitting…there’s room for us all to create whatever makes our weird little hearts sing.  But if you start trying to decide for me, I’m going to very gently point you back to this post.

And for the record, those bits of lovely in the picture are are Blue Moon’s Sugar Plum Fairy Dust colorway (from their BeSpeckled line of colors) and Hedgehog Fibres Construct colorway (and they do lots of speckle-y delights).  They’re both lovely yarns that I’m enjoying very much!  I hope you like them too.  And if not, I hope you find something you like every bit as much as I like them.

Suitably Matched

Way back when I was a brand new knitter (think ‘had to look up how to purl because it seemed sort of tricky’ level of new), I read a pattern that said something like ‘cast on 24 stitches with appropriate yarn and suitably matched needles.’  And somehow I got it into my head that ‘suitably matched’ meant ‘needles that look pretty with your yarn.’  I’ll just let you imagine how well that worked out.  It’s a wonder I ever got the hang of this.

But that incident has left me with a tendency to grin every time my needles happen to match my knitting!

And someone will ask, so these are the needles.  No they’re nothing fancy.  But I’ve had them for at least a decade, and they’ve held up perfectly (as have all the other needles of that brand I’ve used over the years…).  And the yarn is Silky Victoria from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the color Sugar Plum Fairy Dust.  And the knitting is a swatch for Curls 3 (which should be next year’s book)!

Good Mail (once again!)

So when I told you the yarn for Curls 3 was going to be awesome, I really did mean it!  I don’t think I’ve ever assembled quite such a colorful bunch, but I’m totally loving it!

Here we’ve got Tibetan Dream by Bijou Spun in Lilac Ombre (this is the yarn I showed you when we talked about how to get the kinks out of caked yarn…take a look at this and compare it to the pictures in that post to see what a difference it makes).

And this is Silky Victoraia by Blue Moon Fiber Arts in Sugar Plum Fairy Dust.  You can always trust Tina to nudge me ever further out of my color comfort zone (and to make me very happy about it along the way)!

If you want to check back in on all the Curls 3 yarns to date, you can find them over here, and we can take turns seeing who is more surprised to see me working with all these bright shiny colors!

I get all the best mail

So there’s this thing where I have an idea, then I talk to some of my very favorite yarn makers, then they send me yarn, then I play with it.  I believe technically it’s called ‘my job,’ but really it feels like way too much fun to be a job.

Two of the latest yarns to arrive (they’re for next year’s book) are from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

DSC_6250 copyThe first is Yaksi Fingering in Poupon (tell me I’m not the only one to be amused by yak…that’s just nifty).

DSC_6252 copyAnd the next is Socks that Rock Mediumweight in A Hazy Shade of Blue (love STR because it’s twisted tightly enough to make for really really sturdy socks).

DSC_6382 copyBoth are delightful, and both might already have found themselves coerced into swatches.

DSC_6373 copy

Lithic (plus giveaway)

While normally I like to be all curmudgeonly and pretty much only work by myself, every once in a while someone comes along who can talk me into playing nicely with others.  Lithic is the result of one of those collaborations.

lithic 1 smallYou see, a few years ago, the good folks at Blue Moon Fiber Arts asked if I’d like to do a sock for their Rockin’ Sock Club.  I allowed as how that could be fun, yarn went winging its way across the land, and a sock was born.  It came out as their July 2013 installment (under the name Arkadiko, just in case you’re sitting there going ‘I know that looks familiar but I don’t recognize the name’).

lithic 2 smallIt was, in the way of club patterns, exclusive to club members for a time.  But that time is totally up, and now it’s available to everyone.

lithic 6 smallThese socks use a nifty little trick.  They incorporate double wraps and cables on some rows, and that means that some rows take more yarn than others.  And that’s exactly the sort of trick you want to have up your sleeve if you have a skein of exuberant, multi-colored yarn hanging around your stash.  It totally whips those sorts of yarns into shape.

lithic 5 smallAnd I’ve got a lovely skein of exuberant yarn to send home with one of you so you can give it a try yourself.  It’s Socks that Rock Silkie in the color Grawk (it’s a darker gray than what I used here, but absolutely lovely and a perfect fit for these socks).  If you think it might want to be yours, just leave a comment telling me how you feel about multi-colored yarn.  Pretty in the skein but too fiddly in person? Worth it because when it works it really works? Too scary for you?  There’s no right answer, I just want to know how you feel about it.

And while I can’t send yarn to everyone, I can give everyone a discount.  Just use the code MULTI to get a dollar the price between now and Friday.  Just put Lithic in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code MULTI.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, March 4, 2016 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way.  Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winner).  If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them.  Sorry, but I can only ship physical prizes to US addresses.