I have an unhealthy relationship with blocking…

More pieces for Curls 3 have started to come in, and I love each and every one.  I cannot wait to get them properly blocked and show off their full glory.  But until then, you’ll have to be content with a little peek at them fresh off the needles.

That’s out of Knit Circus’ Magnificent DK.

And that’s out of Spun Right Round’s Squish DK.

Oh wait, it’s reversible, so let’s see both sides.

Now of course you’ll get to see them as they get blocked.  But sometimes you can just tell ahead of time that things are just going to be marvelous.  And this?  This is one of those times!

More peeks at Curls 3 things over here.  And later this week we’ll start talking all about Silk Road Socks (which yes, is out later this month, yay!).

 

Good Mail (yes, more!)

This really is one of the most enjoyable parts of any book…the yarn shower that comes at the beginning…

Because really, how could you not love finding that in your mailbox?  That’s the Magnificent DK base from Knit Circus in their Brass and Steam colorway, with an extra skein of the yellow that comes at the end (the KC folks are super flexible and will totally help you get the amount/color of yarn you need for whatever scheme you’ve cooked up!).

Or this…it’s just pretty much going to make your day no matter what.  I swear it just about glows!  It’s Daintree by Skein in the color Sea View (I love their colors, I used their yarn in Calcareous and was helplessly smitten).

You can see all the yarns for this book over here, and I swear it’s just about the most colorful bunch of yarns I’ve ever played with…this is going to be so much fun!

Precise

Do you see that?  That wee little tuft of fluff on top of that finished bit of knitting?

DSC_2264That, my friends, is the sum total of the remaining yarn.  I didn’t quite use every inch (there are about 6 feet remaining), but there wasn’t enough to do even one more row, so I’m calling it good.

The piece is done (it’s a modified version of one of the patterns in the book that comes out next month, so I can’t really show you too much of it now) and will be seeing heavy wear now that it’s gotten chilly.  And, for those keeping track at home, that was cast on to bind off in four days.  Unheard of I tell you…maybe there is something to this fat yarn thing after all.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go raid the stash.  We’ve got a trip coming up and I need to sort out the right yarn.

Protective

The blue thing has grown (erm, it’s all lowering clouds and sunset glow here, hence this seeming to be a rather enthusiastically different color than in the last picture…I don’t love you all enough to fiddle with the color on a blog picture, sorry).

DSC_2257This is tremendously uncharacteristic knitting for me.  I don’t usually do blue (turquoise yes, blue-y blue like this, no).  I don’t usually knit flat.  I don’t usually knit on big needles.  I don’t usually knit wraps.  But this simply needed to be done.  It’s cold outside.  This is warm.  The world at large seems exceptionally abrasive just lately.  This is soft.   I’m in the middle of about 8 hard work things.  This is easy.

I should finish this off the next time I sit down to knit.  Then will come a vigorous bit of blocking (like all lacy things, it looks like a pile of mess right now) and then perhaps a of a picture.  I’m looking forward to it.

Forethought

This weekend, for the first time this season, it was well and properly cold.  Not cool.  Not brisk.  Not chilly.  Cold.  As in, the temperature in the house was markedly lower than where we keep the heat set in the winter.  Of course be haven’t turned the heat on yet (I’m pretty sure we had the AC on a week or so ago, and I firmly believe there should be a significant period between last use of AC and first use of heat).

So, like any reasonably well prepared knitter, I reached for the woolies.  I put on my slippers.  When that didn’t quite do it, I grabbed a cowl.  That more or less took care of it, but I was still a bit chilly.  So I did that somewhat perplexing thing we knitters so often do when we’re cold…I grabbed some yarn and some needles and started knitting.

DSC_2255Now, the reasonable part of my brain knows that this isn’t the most efficient way to get warm.  But somehow I was unable to resist.  The good news is that it’s fat yarn (carousel by knitcircus, now sadly discontinued) and fat needles (size 13, I swear it’s like knitting with ski poles) and so should be done fairly quickly. The bad news is that it’s supposed to warm up by the end of the week.  We’ll see if the motivation holds out.

Bounce bounce bounce

I am generally rather orderly.  Some might say alarmingly orderly.  I’m a huge fan of breaking a large task into smaller ones, putting the pieces in the right order, allocating time for them, and moving through the list.  I’ve written and published five books in the last few years.  You sort of have to be orderly to pull that off.  At least I do.

But right now I’m feeling scattered.  It’s not the bad sort of scattered, it’s the ‘oh holy crap muffins I just had the best idea and now I am absolutely itching to implement it please can I put all all all of my attention on it and only it for the next week or two’ sort of scattered.  That’s actually loads of fun, but I’ve had about four of those ideas in the last week and well…you I can’t do all four at once.

This scattered nature is somewhat reflected in my knitting pile at the moment.

yarn and swatchesThat’s the boy sock I’m working on and a few new swatches, damp from the sink, for the book after next (the tan one on the bottom is Anzula Oasis, and the purple bit of business is Alchemy Lust, and they’re both yummy).  Plus some old swatches in Bare Naked that I’m adding to to augment an upcoming plot (about which loads more later if it all comes together).  Oh and a sample of some mystery yarn (dear yarn companies, please please please attach your company name and yarn info to your samples…this one just has a sticker saying ‘5’ and I’m at a loss as to what it might be) that is just insisting it become a little cuff, despite its unknown origins.  And up at the top is one of Knit Circus gradients that suddenly needs to become a hat (why, because I saw this neat thing on the inside of a heel flap that demanded to be used in a more visible location, that’s why).

Plus I’m talking to a yarn show, making plans with a handful of yarn shops, and looking for a custom metal worker to build me some…things.  Oh and I had the best idea ever for something to do with the book after next and local yarn stores, that needs some serious planning too.

So if one of you clever folks could either figure out how to make the days a bit longer, clone me, or slow the flow of ideas, I’d really appreciate it.  Because I’m pinging about like a bouncy ball here and someone’s going to get hurt if I don’t settle down soon.

Under the big top, yarn and giveaway

I told you last time that I came home Friday to find a lovely little mood elevator hanging out on my front porch (yarn…fewer side effects than prozac, though it is rather habit forming).  And, while I showed you Kitten Overlord Barry chilling in the box it came in, I didn’t actually show you the yarn.  Let’s remedy that, shall we (click to embiggen)?

DSC_0303That’s a whole lot of yarny love, all from Jaala, mastermind the behind the Knit Circus empire (really, you should be listening to the podcast, it’s fabulous).  Over on the left you’ve got three fingering weight yarns (Aerialist, Greatest of Ease, and Pixie Dust bases) in lovely rich colors that are sure to jump start spring.  And on the right, you’ve got three of Jaala’s genius gradient yarns (Carousel, Opulence, and Lap of Luxury bases) in the yummy muted colors I am always so drawn to.  Now, all of Jaala’s yarns are splendid.  She knows what knitters want in a yarn base, and her color sense is spot on.  But these gradients are extra special.

Somehow (the precise details are a well guarded secret known only to those allowed into her evil lair), she’s figured out a way to achieve beautiful, long transitions over the whole length of a skein of yarn.  Sometimes they’re subtle, like the ones above, and go through various shades of the same color.  Sometimes they’re a bit more flamboyant and cover a wide range of colors.  And even more impressive, you can either get single skein with one long transition, or two half skeins, each with a matched transition.  That means you can make socks or mitts that match up perfectly.  I, personally, am envisioning a hat out of that slate blue worsted, and a pair of mitts to match from a split skein of the same yarn.  The niftiness is more or less overwhelming, just think of the possibilities.

And, because I love you all and want you to be happy, I’m going to share a little of my good fortune with two of you.  I’m going to give away one of the skeins of sock yarn and one of the gradients (I haven’t decided which yet…it will be a tough decision!).  So, head over to Jaala’s shop, check out all her lovely yarn, then come back here and leave a comment.  Let me know which of her yarns or colors grabs you the most, or tell me what sorts of genius ideas gradient yarns give you!

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Wednesday, April 30, 2014 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick two winners, contact them to get their addresses, and 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 winners).  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 send prizes to US addresses.

HMS Cardboard

A box came in the mail yesterday.  A box of lovely yarn from Jaala over at Knit Circus.  The timing was perfect, as it was a cold, gray, rainy afternoon and The Boy was out of town and my sinuses were giving me fits and the dishwasher was broken and being an adult was feeling hard.  So a box of smooshy colorful yarn was the perfect remedy.  And very soon, I will be a good blogger and tell you all about the yarn (and maybe even send some of it home with a few lucky souls).

But today?  Today I simply must show you Kitten Overlord Barry, standing valiant at the helm of HMS Cardboard.  It’s a daunting task, but he’s up to the challenge and will bring us all safely home.

barry captain, small

 

Knitcircus Interview

You guys know I’ve long been a fan of Jaala and her marvelous publication, Knitcircus.  I had the pleasure of releasing a sock pattern with her many moons ago, and we’ve chatted back and forth ever since.  When she asked about doing an interview about the upcoming book, I was more than happy to oblige.  If you’d like to take a look, you can download it on their site!

Blushing!

The lovely folks over at Knit Circus were kind enough to say charming things about Silk Road Socks in their most recent issue.  I’m totally blushing.  I love what Knit Circus is doing (I released Scatterling through them last summer).  This is their seventh online issue (they started as a print magazine, but transitioned to an online format last Spring).  They do a fabulous job of taking advantage of the opportunities of an online format (links, videos, easy searching) while still maintaining the feel of a traditional print magazine by providing lots of articles and interviews.  If they’re not already on your roster of knitting sites, do yourself a favor and check them out.