Thursday, January 16, 2014

give me shelter

I can vividly remember several holidays where my knitting projects seemed to drift away from me, never to be completed in time for their intended recipient (or worse, completed and not fitting). Since then, I rarely knit for anyone for Christmas, although I have been known to pick things out to make for family members from time to time.

This holiday, I decided that one of the things I would like to do in 2014 is knit my dad a sweater. Since we've lived in Iowa, I have seen him wearing all sorts of interesting sweaters, from stretched-out cotton ones he's had since I was born, to really nice wool ones my mother bought for him but were too warm to wear in Atlanta, Kentucky and Virginia.

His favorites tend to lean a little on the rustic side. No surprise, for a man who fully absorbs himself in all things related to bluegrass music. I wanted to give him a sweater that I knew he would like, and that meant picking a pattern that he had already expressed interest in, and then having him choose his yarn color.
photo by Jared Flood for Brooklyn Tweed
We settled on Fort, a sweater from the Men's Collection released last year by Brooklyn Tweed. Fort is a design by Jared Flood with a professorial feel to it. From the moss stitch body to the elbow patches, everything about it seems like something my dad will wear a lot. We picked up a sampler card, and he chose the colorway 'Old World' -- a dark, purple-navy with flecks of red and cobalt. I love the yarn already, and all I've knit so far is the swatch!

I have a few projects to get going before this project is officially in progress, but I have to admit that I am pleasantly surprised by this yarn. I thought that because of the rustic texture, it wouldn't be very soft. I should have known better -- the base fiber is, after all, a Columbia Targhee cross. I love both of these breeds for spinning -- why wouldn't I adore them for knitting too?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

follow my arrow

This year, I've decided to participate in some knit-a-longs. I don't mean sign up and pick yarn, I mean participate FULLY and COMPLETE the project! I am notorious for wanting to knit something, signing up for the kal, and then not completing anything beyond the swatch. I figured that the best way to do something like this would be in pieces, so I signed up for two 'mystery' knit-a-longs. Each week the designer releases another clue. It seemed very attainable to knit the clues one at a time over the course of a week, and so far it's working.

This is my start of Ysolda's Follow Your Arrow Mystery KAL shawl. Each of the clues has two options, A and B, and you can choose to do the pattern in two colors for stripes, or a single color for a solid shawl. I elected to use handspun so that I can get a gradient effect:

The fiber is Falkland, which creates a very wooly, bouncy yarn that has a slight sheen. The colors are gorgeous and very autumnal, and so far many people in the group have commented on it! Here's the progress for my shawl so far -- I chose option B for Clue 1. (You can follow my progress more here, too!)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


One of my goals for the new year is to re-vamp some of my older patterns, and introduce some new patterns, too! This is the first one for 2014. 

Tripakka is a tri-color, alpaca scarf made from luxurious Blue Sky Alpacas sport weight. This yarn is scrumptious. If you haven't knit with it before, go out and buy some right now, because it's not your standard alpaca yarn. It has amazing halo and drape and the colors are saturated. I feel like a lot of alpaca yarns tend to look a bit faded -- this yarn is certainly the exception.

Tripakka Scarf
Blue Sky Alpacas Sport Weight 100% baby alpaca, 3 hanks

This scarf is very easy to knit, and worked up quickly with only three skeins. More yardage details and such are on the pattern page, of course.

I designed the scarf for my mom's yarn store, The Sheep's Stockings, so if you purchase yarn there to make the pattern, the pattern is free!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gone Fishing

I have been spending a lot of the new year thinking. Thinking about things that I'd like to make, goals that I'd like to achieve, places I'd like to go. I would like to see my career grow a bit in the next year -- you get what you put in, and I plan on putting in a lot. I would like to see my project list dwindle and my sweater pile grow.

For now, I'm starting with a small project -- a set of socks -- in Spun Right Round sock yarn. The colorway is called 'Goldfish', and I love it. Did you know that in ancient Greek mythology, the goldfish was considered lucky for relationships? Maybe these socks will help me improve some friendships this year. That's one of my goals, too.