Tag Archives: knitted wit

Community Supported Yarn goes big time

My friend Lorajean Kelley is the owner and powerhouse behind Knitted Wit, a source of gorgeous hand-dyed yarns. Many of my designs are inspired by, and knit with, her yarns. She’s been dyeing all this loveliness in the 760 square foot home she shares with her husband and 3 children, mostly on the back patio. Her business has grown so much in the past seven years that she needs to move it out of her home and into a real dye studio.

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(Lorajean’s boys in my This Little Ziggy vests in Knitted Wit Polwarth/Silk DK)

Here’s where you get to be part of the action. Knitted Wit has an Indiegogo campaign (similar to Kickstarter) running to fund the startup costs of moving to a studio. She needs some basic equipment that can’t come from her home (stove, washing machine, sink) as well as the installation of the equipment. She’s not asking for a handout: If you invest in the campaign, there are some very nice rewards. It’s like a down payment on more gorgeous yarn and fiber.

If you go to the Indiegogo site, you’ll see that she’s fully funded and more. Her first goal was met within 24 hours. That says a lot about her product, and our willingness to support her growth! But it’s not to late to invest. There are still great perks at most levels, and it will all go to enhance Lorajean’s ability to make MORE YARN.

I’m going for the semi-solid CSY option. You?

Sophie’s Rose shawl, as seen at Madrona

Introducing Sophie’s Rose, an asymmetric triangle shawl with an extravagant ruffle.

sophie's rose

I designed this for Anne Lindquist at For Yarn’s Sake, using two very special yarns. The main color is Sophie’s Rose, the semisolid brown with raspberry pink accents that MadelineTosh dyed as a custom color in honor of Anne’s new granddaughter, Sophie. The coordinating color is Knitted Wit‘s Madge, on her Merino Single Fingering base.

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The theme is a garden trellis interspersed with rows of roses.

sophie's rose detail

I wore this at Madrona last weekend, and the big ruffle makes it really fun to wear.

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This pattern is available through Ravelry, link here. The MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light is available at For Yarn’s Sake, and they also have a good supply of Knitted Wit‘s Single Fingering in Madge. You can see it during the Rose City Yarn Crawl, and after, too. I’ll be wearing mine at For Yarn’s Sake on Saturday, March 1; I have a trunk show there from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come by and say hello while you’re on the Crawl!

RCYC KAL begins in one week! Parties and more…

Can you believe it? One week until the cast on for the Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Shawlette KAL. The official cast on date is Friday January 17; the first clue will be released that day. If you’re local to Portland, I’d love to knit with you! I’m having a cast on party at Twisted from 5 to 8 p.m. We’ll have refreshments and prizes; drop by any time and knit a bit with us. I’m thrilled to be the designer of this mystery shawlette!

MKAL banner

I’m also knitting with the KAL/CAL group at the Knitting Bee on Sunday January 26, from 1-3 p.m., and bringing a little trunk show there, too.

And Lorajean (Knitted Wit) and I are planning a trip to For Yarn’s Sake on Friday, January 31 during their KAL time, 4:30 to 6 p.m. I love having these opportunities to knit with you; knitters are the nicest people.

I’m ready to cast on! Well, I will be, once I get my yarn from Knitted Wit next week. This is what happens when you hang out with a dyer.

color samples

I changed my colors, because I finally realized that I’ll get the sample back next year. My new yarn colors: clematis and tugboat.

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This is not the actual yarn, just the color. The yarn will be Knitted Wit Single Fingering, rather than this plied sample. Lorajean gave me yarn for the KAL, but now she’s talked me into the blues. I asked her if she wanted the silver lining and madge back, and she said that I should give it away on the blog! This is your chance to win these two skeins of gorgeous yarn. Leave a comment by midnight January 13 to enter to win. (Fine print: Winner must be a USA resident, so I can mail it out quickly in case s/he needs it for the KAL.) Thank you, LJ!

mkal yarn

I hope you’ll be knitting along with me. And when we’re finished with the KAL, I hope to see you on the crawl with your beautiful shawlette! I’m also hoping that we can get a group picture at the Yarn Ball on February 26. That will be a rainbow of awesome! Rose City Yarn Crawl is also giving away prizes in conjunction with the KAL and CAL; more info on that later. The actual yarn crawl dates are February 27 through March 1, and includes 18 Portland-area yarn shops.

Here’s the scoop on the KAL: The pattern is available through Ravelry here for $6. You’ll receive a pre-MKAL information sheet telling you about yarn and dates. Every week beginning January 17 the pattern will be updated with the next clue so you can download it.

The RCYC group on Ravelry is here: Pop on over and see what colors people are choosing in the pre-MKAL thread!

Are you ready to cast on? Do you want to win yarn? Leave a comment, in either case!

Thrumviator!

Picture this…

It’s post-apocalypse, and now you’re experiencing the devastatingly cold nuclear winter…how will you keep your noggin warm?

Thrumviator 1
(How does Alex always look so darn cute?!)

Presenting Thrumviator, a thrummed aviator hat. It’s my design in Alex Tinsley’s book Doomsday Knits: Projects for the Apocalypse and After, which will be published by Cooperative Press next month. This hat is guaranteed to keep your head warm.

Thrumviator 2

Because, you know, thrums! Those wonderful bits of wool roving that you knit into your woolies for extra warmth.

Thrumviator 3

The earflaps help, too. Sooooo cozy. This hat begins at the very top, and grows out in four directions, like the four winds. They’re blowing mighty chilly out there, but you’re warm in thrum heaven.

Thrumviator 4

This hat was designed with Knitted Wit Silky ‘n’ Plied, and Knitted Wit merino roving. The silk in this yarn adds the luxury you need to pamper yourself in a cold, cold world. Scrumptious. Look for kits in her shop right now and be ready to knit next month!

You can find Thrumviator on Ravelry here. You can order Doomsday Knits from Cooperative Press here. It’s available in either e-book (pdf) or book + pdf. And you can see the full blog tour schedule here.

I love being part of this project with all these creative designers! And the fabulous photographer, Vivian Aubrey. I always know my knits will look their best if she’s on board.

Next up on the blog tour? Alex’s “Oh Bondage!” on her blog, Dull-Roar. Check it out!

Spring has sprung/Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival is coming!

Ah, the first blush of spring. It made me think of this yarn, which has been waiting ever so patiently for inspiration. I’ve known forever that I want this to be long armwarmers, with a ruffled cuff, but just couldn’t see it yet.

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I don’t remember when it came to me. It’s from the now defunct Pico Accuardi Dyeworks, Francino, which is a lusciously soft 50% merino/25% bamboo/25% nylon blend. 100 grams/459 yards. The color is nude, and it reminds me of a maiden’s blush. I think Stevanie Pico hand painted this one. I’ve started playing with ideas for it. Wish me luck! Especially knitting the second one…

This makes me think of spring, too.

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It’s my March CSY yarn from Knitted Wit. It’s Bling, in Fuchsia Basket. I was at her house the other day to help her label yarn, and I named this one. There are four shades in this month’s CSY, all different percentages of the same dye, so they’re gradations of the same color. Sakura, Plum Blossom, Carnation Nation, and Fuchsia Basket, in order of intensity. Is one coming to you? I love the bling in Bling; it’s hard to see it in this size picture, but it sparkles in the full size pic on my iPad. You need to get some and see for yourself!

These colors also remind me that cherry blossom time is coming, along with the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival in Hood River, April 19-21. It’s the third year for this festival, organized by Yvonne Ellsworth of Lavender Sheep. There is an enticing market which is open to the public, and admission is free. There are also great classes. I learned to steek last year in Mary Scott Huff’s class. Now I’m scheduled to teach two classes there, an expanded version of Tink Drop Frog (fixing mistakes, and more tips and tricks), and the Thrill of the Thrum, which will be a guided tour through my Thrumbelina slipper pattern, as well as a history of thrumming, practice thrumming, and lots of ideas on how else to use it.

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I hope you can come to the festival! Please sign up for workshops; they can’t happen unless we have a minimum number of students for each one.

But now, just a little more winter before we get into full on spring. I went cross country skiing with friends on Sunday at Teacup Lake on Mt. Hood. It rained at the end, but it was a fun outing.

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My 30 year old skis still work fine. They don’t get out much. Yes, those are old school 3 pin trap bindings. Relics!

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There are even more ancient ones on display in the little lodge.

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And this gray jay/camp robber/whiskey jack was happy to share our lunch. It came with a bunch of friends!

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What are you knitting for spring?

CSY Goodness

I caught up with Lorajean of Knitted Wit this week. The last time I saw her, we were in a mad dash to get our Rose City Yarn Crawl project done for the prize baskets. (Don’t forget to get your free copy of my Daffy Taffy Twists pattern!) After we got that done, I went to Hawaii and she went to TNNA. We’re both back now, so I took the opportunity to catch up with her, and I also picked up *two* months worth of CSY:Fingering Edition yarn. Here’s the January skein:

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This variegated makes me think of chocolate and berries. I’ll be looking for a stellar stitch pattern that does it justice. The yarn is Corriedale Socked, 75% super wash Corriedale and 25% nylon, 4 ounces/445 yards. Corriedale is a new breed fiber for me; I’m looking forward to knitting with it. Not sure it will be socks, although the yarn feels like it would make a sturdy but soft and long lasting pair.

Untitled

This blue-green is Cashy Light, a 80/10/10 blend of superwash merino, cashmere,and nylon. It has tons of yardage, 496 yards in 4 ounces. I think it would make a generous one skein shawl. The color reminds me of the ocean, way out in the depths.

I have a lot of knitting lined up for this weekend. I need to finish a design, start a new one, and I still want to knit myself a sweater. Remember that January was supposed to be selfish knitting month? I never got it done, too much work knitting. But last week I bought some clearance yarn at Twisted, worsted in pinot noir, enough for a sweater. I’m thinking it will be Veera Välimäki’s Honey Cardigan. Click the link and tell me what you think! I like that the neckline is less relaxed than on the Tea Leaves Cardigan. I want something top-down so I don’t have to commit to the length until the bitter end. And I decided that I didn’t want the big borders on Serra or Rocky Coast right now.

What are you going to knit this weekend?

Support your local indie dyer

Remember last year, when I joined Knitted Wit’s Community Supported Yarn club? I received five unique yarns, and helped enable Lorajean to play with new fibers and dyeing techniques. I grew my tiny stash, and she grew her business. And now she’s doing it again! Five skeins of yarn over five months, beginning in September. Signups are going on now.

Let’s review what I got last year:

A beautiful raspberry pink Rambouillet single, which I used for my Zen Rain knitalong.

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It was perfect! I wore this a lot last winter with a grey sweater dress. So cute! LJ is now dyeing a Rambouillet 2 ply on a regular basis.

pink zen

This sea green Silky ‘n’ Single worsted weight is cool and serene.

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I haven’t decided what it wants to be yet, but I take it out and admire it on a regular basis. LJ now has a plied version of this in her lineup, Silky ‘n’ Plied.

I also received this apple green merino/cashmere/nylon blend, fingering weight.

pendant

It’s on the needles as a shawl design project, waiting for me to come back to it. I love how it knits up. (The reason I’m a monogamous knitter is that I tend to go on to the next thing and not come back, so it’s better if I just finish before moving on. But this one is calling my name loudly enough that I WILL go back to it.) I can’t show you a picture, because it’s a secret!

Some sparkly Bling in Huckleberry, which was almost a finished sock, but I, um, got distracted! Now that I look at it, I think I actually want to finish these. I’m not loving the fit of this heel variation (gusset decreases under the heel instead of along the sides) so I’m going to rip back and go back to my standard heel.

sock

And my favorite yarn of all: DK weight Polwarth/silk. It was a fabulous orchid color, but I traded it back to her for Beaujolais, and knit my OXO mitts with it.

mitts

I also had a chance to design my Pointer Mitts and Hats with it for the {Among Friends} club.

pointer set

This is one of my all-time favorite yarns to knit with, and it all started with Knitted Wit’s chance to experiment with this yarn base through her community supported yarn program. It’s a big win for all of us. Being part of a CSY is extra thrilling, because you never know what you’re going to get. Beautiful yarn just shows up on your doorstep. Unlike vegetables, it doesn’t go bad before you can use it. That’s good news for me!

I wonder what this year’s CSY will bring?

TNNA bound!

I’ve made a last minute decision to go to the TNNA show in Columbus. TNNA is the National Needlearts Association, and this is the their big summer trade show. Why go? I have two designs featured in Sample It, the shopping feeding frenzy for LYS owners the evening before the show opens. Yay, me!

Knitted Wit (Lorajean Kelley) is featuring my Thrumbelina Thrummed Slipper pattern in a kit with her worsted yarn and roving. This would be a great project for a class. I know; I’ve taught it a few times!

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And Sincere Sheep (Brooke Sinnes) is featuring my Pointer Mitts and Hats pattern with her DK weight Luminous yarn. (These pictures are not the kit yarns, which I haven’t seen yet…)

pointer set

I said to LJ, “I want to go!” And she said, “Come along!” How could I not? I’m really lucky to be working with such wonderful talented independent dyers, and to have a chance to go to the summer show. I’ll show you all the fun as we go.

I made another last minute decision on Saturday. I bought an iPad! My very slow laptop is making me crazy, and I’ve been coveting DH’s iPad. I bought my iPad to have an easy way to have a portfolio of my work with me, and also to blog from. I bought a little Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard/cover for it, and it’s pretty comfortable to type on. Most of this post is being typed on it. The only issue I’m having with this post is that I haven’t figured out the best/easiest way to insert pictures yet.

In other news, my Raspberry Vodka Lemonade is moving right along. It will be take-along knitting; I don’t think it will be done by Thursday. Too many things to get done before I leave!

Oh, the joy…

of a new project on the needles! I’ve felt overwhelmed by choices lately; those empty needles saying, “Pick me! Pick me!” How to decide what to cast on? I really need something fairly mindless as take-along knitting, but the siren song of a new design project is calling more loudly than anything else. So here’s the yarn…

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I love the grayed green that plays so nicely with the rose. Luscious!

How about you? Do you need a new project? Something for Mom, perhaps? Lorajean (Knitted Wit) has some really cute pedicure sock kits in her Etsy shop, Falkland sport yarn and pattern and nail polish, lots of different colors to choose from. There’s still time to knit them, or just give your knitting mom the kit!

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Not into pedi socks? There’s enough yarn to make regular socks instead, if that’s your way. The best part is that it’s my pattern, ZigZag Lace Pedi (or not!) Socks. They look like this:

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Here are a crop of Falkland sport socks, including (l to r) Seafoam Sock, ZigZag Lace Pedi Sock, Entrelac Sock.

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Come cast on with me! What will your new project be?

Pointer!

The first {Among Friends} club shipment has gone out, and now I can show you what I’ve been working on. If you’re waiting for your shipment and don’t want to see, come back later.

This is Pointer, a fingerless mitts and hat set worked in DK weight yarn.

The design began with the mitts. I knew I wanted to use this sweet loop stitch that I learned in Gayle Roehm’s “Designing with Japanese Stitch Dictionaries” class at Sock Summit. But straightforward columns of loop stitch would be boring, so I graduated the columns to echo the fingers on a pointing hand. I tried a couple different thumb treatments, and this is the one I liked best.

I still had a lot of yarn left after the mitts were done, so I decided to add a hat. I’ve been eyeing berets for a while; it seems like they’re more wearable than other hat styles for me. I don’t like to hide all my hair; it makes me look like an egg! Berets solve this problem by sitting back a bit.

beret

Isn’t it amazing what a good blocking will do? Here are two berets, one before and one after blocking.

blocking

For those of you who like a more traditional hat, that option is here, too. I love the loop stitch, so I featured it on the hat band as well as the body of the hat.

cap

I’m really pleased with this pattern, and pleased to be the designer for the launching of the {Among Friends} Yarn and Fiber Club. This club is the collaboration project of Lorajean Kelley (Knitted Wit) and Brooke Sinnes (Sincere Sheep). You can find more information on the pattern on the Pointer Mitts and Hats pattern page. Thank you to my friend Bobbi for modeling!

In the excitement of the launch, I forgot that I had signed up for the club, too. My package came yesterday. Brooke is the dyer for the first club shipment. Her DK weight yarn, Luminous, is 85% Polwarth Wool, 15% Tussah Silk. The color this month is Damson Plum, and it is luscious.

swag

Because I signed up early for the club, there was a special treat included. These stitch markers are lovely!

And clearly, I already have the pattern for this month. I’m currently finishing a pair of mitts in Orchid to match the beanie hat. I have my Azulite and Beaujolais beret and mitts sets in Lorajean’s DK already (same yarn base). What should I knit with Brooke’s yarn? I’m not sure I need another set, but I do love knitting with this yarn base!