Swatches…so many swatches

It’s high time I start showing off some of the bits and pieces for the upcoming book!  And for me, that means swatches.  So Many Swatches.

Now, if I were cooler, I’d have this pinned out and under tension for you.  Because this is one of those stitches that just absolutely pops when it’s stretched a bit (always a good choice for sock patterns, where you generally have a bit of negative ease).  But instead you’ll just have to imagine me stretching it just a tiny bit and making cooing noises as I revel in the tiny twisted stitches and perfect lines.⁠

Yarn is Meridian by Seven Sisters Arts in the color White Buffalo.⁠⠀And you will always always always be glad to have Karen’s yarn in your stash!

What comes next? More swatches!  Because really, that’s how projects start around here.  And this…this is quite possibly the prettiest swatch I ever did swatch.

I swear the yarn pooled so perfectly (and it did on the final sock too…what till you see it).  And this is a perfect example of just how different a color can look in the skein and on the swatch.  You can hardly even find that sort of teal color in the top right of the swatch if you look at the skein…but then you knit it up and there it is, flirting with you in the very nicest way.  You are going to flip when you see these!⁠

Yarn is Caper Sock by String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn in the color Blue Hill.  And it is the closest thing to that gorgeous iridescent sheen you get on wet pavement I’ve ever seen (yeah yeah, I know, gross thing to think about, but good gracious but it’s lovely to behold).

These are both swatches for socks in this year’s book.  The book that comes out next month (yes, that does indeed mean I’m going to have a busy next few weeks. Feel free to send tea and chocolate).  If you are super cool and want to be sure to hear when the preorder opens, the mailing list is the best way to make that happen.  You probably already knew that, but apparently it’s the sort of thing I’m supposed to actually say out loud, so I’m trying to be a Responsible Business Bot and do those things!

More incoming…

So at some point here I should probably start talking in detail about Silk Road Socks and how it will be out next month and how it’s full of lovely things and how I very much hope you will like it as much as I do.  But for right now, I’m just going to show you one of the sample socks I helped sort out (sometimes I put sample knitters in touch with yarn makers to get samples made for shows…which means I get to pet some truly lovely socks).

That’s one of the patterns in the book (I’ll tell you all about it later, don’t worry), shown here in Seven Sisters Arts Meridian in the color Quartzite.

And I’ll start nattering on about the book in the next week or two, but if you want to be sure you hear when it goes live, the little box down below will let you make that happen.

 

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So when I say I knit a lot of swatches

Yeah…so about that swatching thing…I really do mean it.  And right now, I’m hard at work on Curls 3 swatches.

That’s one little doodle with one of the lovely Varigradients from Seven Sisters Arts.  The yarn is perfect, the stitch is fun, but I’m not 100% sure I’m sold on the combination.

So I try again…and this has lots of promise.

And again, this is absolutely normal.  It’s totally not a sign that anything is wrong.  It’s just that swatching is sort of the knitter’s equivalent of sketching…and you sometimes need to do more than one to find just the right plan.  It’s totally worth it in the end!

Follow along with all the Curls 3 plans over here, if you’re feeling curious!

Good Mail (oooooh, aaaaah)

Oh my goodness…my mailbox really is a happy place.

That’s one of Indigo Dragonfly’s Tornadoz sets on Chameleon Sock in the color Cahoots.  It’s an absolutely delightful merino/cashmere/silk blend, and looks absolutely beautiful knit up…wait till you see my swatch!

And this is Seven Sisters Arts newest grand idea, Varigradients.  That’s three skeins of their beautiful variegated yarns in varying intensities, light to dark.  In this case it’s the Water Garden colorway on the Matrika base.  And oh…oh it’s lovely stuff!

If you want to follow along and check out all the yarns for Curls 3 (and some swatches too), you can find them over here.  And wow is this one ever bright and colorful!

Ensnared (plus giveaway)

Do you realize how long it’s been since we had a shiny new sock pattern around here?  It was back in November.  That’s just not cool!  We need more socks, and I think Ensnared are just the ticket.

That’s a nice classic sock to jump back in with, isn’t it now!  There’s just something about a perfect ribbed sock that’s hard to beat.  They fit so well and feel so good on your feet and you can totally get away with them if your sock target insists on fairly sedate socks.

And, if you have a yarn as beautiful as this, the ribbing is actually sort of meditative.  The yarn is Meridian by Seven Sisters Arts in the color Damselfly, and it is (like all of their yarns) a thing of beauty and delight.

But you guys know me well enough to know that it’s really that fancy bit on the top that steals my heart.  There’s something about that lattice work that just does me in.  It’s the perfect mix of interesting but not fiddly (and just impressive looking enough that you feel rather pleased with yourself while you’re doing it, which really is the important bit).  It gets me in my happy knitting place every time, and really, isn’t that what knitting’s for?

So here’s what we’re going to do.  I want to hear what gets you in your happy knitting place.  Is it ribbing? Plain stockinette?  Colorwork?  Something where you can see the pattern and don’t need to check a chart?  There’s no wrong answer, I just like knowing what everyone else geeks out on!  The random number fairy will pick someone out of a hat, and I’ll send them a skein of this gorgeous Seven Sisters Arts yarn.

And for everyone I can’t send yarn to (I’m just not cool enough to get yarn to everyone, sorry!), I’ve got a coupon for this pattern.  You can use the code HAPPYPLACE to get 10% off the hat between now and Friday.  Just put Ensnared in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code HAPPYPLACE.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, April 21, 2017 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 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 ship physical prizes to US addresses.

Good Mail

One of the many lovely things about this job is all the good mail it generates.  There are few things more fun to find in the mailbox than some yummy yarn.  And when it’s book yarn selecting time, you get a lot of good yarn in the mail!

That’s Merino DK by Hedgehog Fibres in the color Construct.

And that’s Meridian by Seven Sisters Arts in the color Silk Road (the bundle) and Citron (the big skein).

They’re both for Curls 3, which will be mostly speckles and gradients.  I’m having so much fun tracking down fabulous yarns, and have a bunch of them sorted out, but if you’ve got any favorite speckles or gradients, I’d love to know about them.  It helps if they’re a big enough company to be carried in yarn stores and if they do repeatable colorways, but there’s a bit of flexibility for just the right yarn!

Play time, part 2

Ok, so I’m not that mean.  I won’t keep you waiting too long.  Because really?  No one should have to wait for this.

DSC_2813 copyI mean it’s practically electric.  Totally cannot get enough (and I’m usually fairly immune to the charms of blue, but somehow this totally does it for me).

But the thing I find really interesting is how differently each base took the color.  From left to right that’s Matrika, Zenith, Apex, Meridian, and Corona, all from Seven Sisters Arts.  Just as a reminder, they looked like this undyed.

DSC_2044jpg copyAnd ok, maybe you’d expect the Apex (the gray one in the middle to come out different).  But the others surprised me.  The Matrika and the Zenith came out the lightest (I think maybe because of the way the silk in the Matrika and the BFL in the Zenith reflect the light).  Then the Meridian and the Corona are super saturated (my guess is that it’s the superwash merino…I wonder if whatever they do to make it superwash makes it drink up the dye a bit better).  And of course Apex was gray to start with and so it kept that lovely mellow feeling (don’t tell the others but it might just be my favorite).

It was awesome to see how they behaved (and to see everything that goes into dyeing the yarn), and I’m already scheming about what I’m going to make with them.  The Zenith and the Corona are vying with each other to see who gets on the needles first, and I suspect you’ll be seeing more of all of them around here over the next little while!

Play time, part 1

My job is awesome.  I mean yes, sometimes I spend too much time with boxes and labels and tape.  But I also get invited to go visit with fabulous dyers and play with their yarn.  And really, that makes up for an awful lot of time spent packing boxes!

While we were up in Maine, Karen of Seven Sisters Arts asked if I’d like to come over and play.  You know I love her yarn (I used it most recently in Pelagic, and before she opened Seven Sisters Arts, she was half of String Theory, and I’ve used a ridiculous amount of their yarn).  So after checking once or twice to be sure she really meant it, I gleefully said yes bopped right on over.

When I got there, I found a pile of yarn (starting at the bottom left and working across to the top right that’s Matrika, Zenith, Apex, Meridian, and Corona).

DSC_2044jpg copyAnd a top secret notebook full of recipes and colors and truly inspiring bits of fluff.

DSC_2046 copyWe talked color for a bit then got to work (if by work you understand that I mean I said ‘oooooooh, pretty’ a lot while Karen did clever things with dye and hot water and yarn).  It went a little something like this (humming the Jaws theme song now is optional but encouraged).

DSC_2062 copyAnd this.

DSC_2072 copyThen this.

DSC_2075 copyAnd a bit later, this.

DSC_2082 copyOh and a bit later still, this (hint, dyeing yarn takes a long time…keep that in mind next time you look at all those beautiful skeins your favorite dyer offers).

DSC_2089 copyThen?  Then came the completely unbearable drying period before we could see what we’d done.  Which I will now shamelessly replicate by waiting a day or two to show off the final result.  Because I’m terribly terribly mean, that’s why.

Pelagic (plus giveaway)

You know that skein of beautiful, multi-color sock yarn you just couldn’t resist? And then it turned out you didn’t know quite what to do with it?  I totally figured it out.  Pelagic is what you do with it!

DSC_6626 copyFirst you grab a slightly heavier, solid-color yarn to pair with it.  Then you bring them together in just the right way, the solid-color yarn keeping things orderly while the multi-color gets to be just as wild as it wants!

DSC_6579 copyHere I’ve got Chickadee by Quince & Co playing the role of respectable solid-color yarn (Kumlien’s Gull), and Meridian by Seven Sisters Arts playing the role of wild child (Aphrodite), but this would work beautifully with lots of combinations.  Just keep in mind you do want to use a slightly heavier yarn for the solid color to get the right drape in the hat and flare in the cuff.

DSC_6556 copySegmenting the colorful yarn off into neat sections like that lets it shine without letting it get too out of control.  It works on the hat with nice broad bands of color, and it works on the cuff with more delicate columns.  I really love how it lets me take a yarn I love (but would be just a little scared of) and show it off.

DSC_6545 copyAnd just look what it does at the top of the hat!  I’m not really sure anyone can be expected to resist that for long.

DSC_6571 copyAnd speaking of irresistible, Karen over at Seven Sisters Arts has a treat for one of you.  She’s sending someone a skein of the beautiful Meridian yarn I used here.  All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment telling how you feel about wild colored yarn.  Are you helpless to resist?  Don’t quite get the appeal?  Stash full of the stuff and no idea what to do with it?  There’s no right or wrong answer, I just like to know how you guys feel!  Someone will take home a skein of their very own.

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

DSC_6534 copyComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, September 9, 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.

Haul

So last time I showed off (just a bit) of the pretty from the trip to Maine.  But I know you guys are here more for yarn than for general travel festivities.  And don’t worry, there was yarn.  No really I checked.  There was.

4 copyFirst up, a bit of Malabrigo.  And no, it’s not local to Maine, but I strongly prefer to buy Malabrigo in person, and these four were too lovely to pass up!

1 copyAnd when in Maine, you’re pretty much contractually obligated to get a bit of Seven Sisters Arts.

3 copyThat contract?  It totally covers String Theory too.

2 copyAnd new to me (and firmly in the ‘ooooooh, speckles, pretty’) is On the Round.  I have a feeling there will be more of this later.