Friday, November 21, 2014

Turkey Day!

My favorite holiday of the year is Thanksgiving. I guess what I like about it the most is what it's not. It's not about religion. It's not about gifts. It's about gathering friends and family around a table to give thanks for the bounty of the season. And maybe a little football.

We're super happy to be part of Jimmy Bean's Wool's Fit for a Feast celebration again this year. It's an event where they gather hand-dyers together to create a collection of yarns based on their favorite Thanksgiving dishes. You can buy the yarns one at a time or the entire "dinner" or even "sides" or "desserts". Awesomesauce.

Just a few days before they asked us to get involved, I was over in Michigan and stopped by a cute little farm, FloraLia. It's small farm with forty or so bee colonies, a donkey, a few sheep, a bunny or three, a bunch of chickens and Mr. Turkey.

When he gets excited he puffs all up and struts around. He was doing that the day we were there. It's hard to tell from here, but he was easily 3 feet across. Isn't he amazing?

Anyway, when Jimmy Beans Wool called, I knew immediately that I wanted our "dish" for the feast to be turkey. But, instead of using a cooked turkey for our inspiration, we were going to use Mr, Turkey. He had so much more going on than even the most lovely roasted bird. Of course the brown and red stand out, but can you see the bits of blue on the tips of feathers? And all the grey?

So after a little experimentation, voila, Wild Turkey.

We're a little biased, but we think it's pretty nice. It's one of those colors that would work beautifully with almost any winter coat for a hat and scarf set. Think about it, camel, navy, black, grey, red. We pretty much have you covered.

So hurry on over to Jimmy Beans Wool and and get your feast before they sell out. This is all limited edition and they're going to go fast!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Naming Contest!

Well, it's that time of year again. We have fallen desperately, shamelessly in love with a new yarn but we can't for the life of us figure out what to call it. You've helped us in the past with Honor, Solemate, and Sportmate. I'm hoping you can work your magic one more time.

The yarn is yummy. It's a bulky weight with a super tight twist. Around here, we call that "sproingy". And I'm going to say it's a "technical" term. Or at least as technical as we're ever going to get. It's pictured here undyed, but we'll be dyeing it all of our colors.

So, the details. This is 90% superwash merino and 10% nylon. Why nylon, you ask? Well here's the logic: There isn't enough nylon in it to make the hand of the yarn feel any different than 100% merino, but that much nylon will make the yarn nice and strong. So, if you are the sort that loves a nice knit slipper, this yarn would be perfect.

Perhaps Cadeautje by Ysolda.

Of course the yarn isn't just about slippers, it's also be a fine choice for a nice chunky sweater or a fabulous hat and mittens or scarves or .... You name it, this will work. I swoon when I think what will happen to cables or of curling up under a toasty blanket made with this yarn.

Perhaps something like Susan Hanlon's Stylish Squares Blanket?

Between the superwash and the nylon, a blanket would be pretty bullet proof.

This will knit up at about 3.5 sts/inch. A 100g hank witll have 120 yards. Lovely, don't you agree?

I think that about covers the details. Except for the name. Can you help?

Email your suggestion to We'll narrow it down to the top three when I get back from vacation on December 1 and then we'll put it up for a vote. Winner will get a bag of the new yarn in the color of their choice.

Pretty sweet don't you think?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Vogue Knitting Holiday

You're going to be seeing a ton of reviews in this space over the next few weeks. I've gotten quite a few books lately and I've been remiss in telling you about them. That said, the first thing I'm going to talk about is a magazine rather than a book because it's on the top of the pile on my desk. 

So, Vogue Knitting Holiday. I really like this issue. I think the thing that tipped it for me is that it's not a bunch of green and red. It's holiday but not HOLIDAY. I like subtle. I like sophisticated. 

Of course there is a special gift section. And the New & Now section is chock full of great ideas to make your special knitter happy. And one of the stories is about things that sparkle. But after that, the patterns and such are all good, solid, beautiful winter wearables.

Comfort and Joy is all about soft, chunky, wrap yourself in cozy. Just what we'll all be looking for in the coming months.

Next up is a section of designs all worked in red wine colored yarn. There are all types of garments here, sweaters, bags, cowls, you name it. There is something for everyone. It may sound silly to say it, but just because it's shown in wine doesn't mean you have to knit it in wine. There's a statistic that gets tossed around that says something like 75% of all garments are knit in the colorway shown in the magazine or book. Isn't that crazy.

One of the great things about being a stitcher is that you can pick and choose and make it your own. Don't like red? How about blue? Or is green your color? Make it work for you. There is no limit to where your imagination can take you.

The last story is called Merry & Bright. This is all about colorwork. Fresh and fun colorwork. Jacqueline Van Dellen created Modern Fair Isle Raglan in our Shepherd Worsted. It's shown here in 0ns Natural and 1ns Pink Blossom.

I have a couple of Fair Isle's on needles right now that just need things like a steek to turn them into FO's. Something about this kind of knitting is really appealing to me right now. 

All in all, I like this issue quite a bit. You should take a look. My guess is you'll find more than one reason to take it home with you.