During the height of summer, I was perusing one of my all-time favorite crochet books, Simple Crocheting by Erika Knight, when I was struck with the need to make the Classic Snood. The image of a large tweedy wool cowl paired with my favorite fall coat would not escape me, so I naturally spent an afternoon searching through my stash to find just the right yarn.
Looking back, it’s easy to see how the pages of cozy knits and oh-so-lovely photography transported me out of the sweltering summer heat and into the world of comforting winter accessories. Plus, who doesn’t love having a few freshly finished accessories ready for the first day of cool autumn weather?
When I was a nerdy little kid (as opposed the nerdy adult I am now), I LOVED the Choose Your Own Adventures books! Remember those? You are the protagonist of the story and determine the outcome by making decisions every few pages or so. I ate these up in my elementary and Jr High years and was excited to learn that my nephew loves them too so I could pass them along to the younger generation!
Well, obviously, I’m not the only one who loved these books, as one of my favorite designers Lee Meredith has a brand new eBook based on them!
Check out our new Stroll Tweed yarn! Once, a few years ago we had a yarn with the same name, however we’ve gone back to the drawing board when it came to the tweed nepps since then and I’m delighted to show you what we’ve come up with! I love the rich color palette we’ve chosen and the new natural-colored flecks. I love using the Stroll family for washable fingering weight projects (especially baby sweaters!) and Stroll Tweed. The minute we opened the box of our photography samples I grabbed a bag of the Indigo Heather (the prettiest purple-blue I’ve EVER seen!) and got to work picking out a pattern.
Just in time for our trip to Canada. No, really! I took it off the blocking wires Saturday morning as we headed out the door.
So, as I’ve mentioned before that I have an incredible amount of lace weight yarn just lurking around in the shadows of my yarn stash. Everyone else in the office seems to have learned their lesson (aka that they just won’t ever get around to knitting with lace weight yarn) so they steer well clear of it whenever a stray skein winds up in the office. I, on the other hand am more than happy to snap each and every one of them up and take them home with me. Well… almost anything, and by anything I mean just the blues!
This means that I’m always prowling Ravelry, our own pattern section and all the available books in the office for lace weight patterns. ANYTHING to put this lovely, light yarn to good use. Eventually I found A. Westbrook’s free crochet Lacy Feather and Fan pattern on Ravelry. I loved how open the pattern was, the simple two-row repeat and that I could really easily turn this into a cowl. SOLD!
When Hunter Hammersen sent me a preview of her new book, The Knitter’s Curiousity Cabinet, Vol. II, I was drawn to her Vanessa Antiopa socks. I liked the geometrical design. And, it turns out that it makes the pattern very easy to follow. I knit them using Gloss Fingering in Tranquil.
From scrounging in my sock yarn stash comes great things.
Like this Woobie Puppy designed by Kris Carlson!
I think that by now, we’re all pretty familiar with the gorgeous shot of the Palette family that’s been in the catalog and on web since September of last year. I know it particularly well because Kerin and I are the ones who sat down and sorted each ball into the lovely color order that you see here and I’m the one who sat down AGAIN and resorted it after the photography department was done with it in order to label each ball correctly in catalog. I can’t tell you how long this took, only that I’m getting pretty good at spotting the differences between Thicket and Briar Heather!
A riff on the Babette Blanket
This blanket was inspired by the Babette Blanket, and by my stash. I love the bold, multi-color splashiness of the Babette Blanket, and I had some Chroma worsted samples to play with. I’ve called it a “Nanette Blanket” after my middle name (Nan), and the bumbling character from the musical “No No Nanette.” This was definitely my typical, bumbling experimental project!
Crafting started as something fun to do once in a while, like during a rainy day or on the odd vacation weekend. I have a few memories of making massive collages of tiny horses cut out of magazines, or sorting through a giant jar of buttons.
That was all before I picked up a pair of knitting needles late in high school. From that moment on I needed to craft. It became a lifestyle. I knit in class, on the bus, during movies, on car rides to the store and especially in parks on nice days.