Yah, Spring is Here!

For us anyway – our new Spring yarns were released today! We added colors to several of our cotton & lace yarns and have 3 new yarn lines – Comfy Fingering, Shadow Tonal, and (my personal fave) Stroll Tonal. Want to see some of these beauties knit or crocheted up? Check out our new IDP patterns released today as well.
A crochet shawl in Shadow Tonal Springtime

A beautiful lace scarf, knit in the Shadow Tonal Gypsy

Showing off our new Stroll Tonal Canopy in some lovely socks

And, in case you don’t like socks or shawls, how about a fun hat in Stroll Tonal Foliage?

Now only question is – What do I make first? <

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The importance of documentation

A couple of weeks ago I spent a day gathering up my far-flung WIPs. I had bags in my library, in my knitting nook, in the living room, in the bedroom and in my office at work! Seeing everything piled up in one place was a bit daunting but, in the perverse attitude of a fiber freak, fantastically energizing.

Using Ravelry and my Knit Buddy iTouch app, I arranged everything into two categories. The ones that I felt I could get to at least once a week became WIPs. The others went into my Queue.

As I became reaquanted with my neglected WIPs, I slammed head first into the one rule that I just can’t seem to retain. Make REAL notes! Cryptic jottings do not qualifiy!!

My Stonington Shawl is a perfect example. Here is a reproduction of the notes I made on the Xerox copy of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s instructions.

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Mindless Knitting Crisis!

My Stonington shawl has been one of my Mindless Knitting projects. I usually only have a couple in progress with the rest of my WIPs being more intellectually stimulating.

Well, this weekend I finally finished my other simple project – the Angora Socks! Hurrah!!

I left you in suspense with my last blog entry and the analysis of what I thought was a small mathematical miscalculation.

I had to leave you in suspense because I was left speechless!!

It has taken a couple of days, and a scheduled dinner out with friends tonight, to shake me from my stupor. I have no viable mindless knitting! Yes, I could start something new but the Stonington Shawl “situation”, “mishap”, “disaster” ….. has completely knocked me out of the game. Seriously! It was a simple trapezoid but, NO, that was just too much for my math-challenging little mind. Suddenly …

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Wouldn’t you think that this would be one of the first Ravelry names taken? Knitting? Chocolate? Well, you would be so wrong!!

Let’s go back a couple of years to a lovely spot in Mexico. I’m sitting by the pool with Xena, knitting away on something when a young girl and her brother come up to me and ask if they can say, “Hi” to Xena.
Of course Xena is doing her wiggle/wiggle thing which translates into, “Oh boy, new slaves to pet me!”
Stella, and her brother Jack, stayed around for long enough for me to learn that Stella and her mother had tried knitting a few times but never really fell in love with it!
Of course, I had extra yarn and needles for just this situation. Over the next couple of days, the three of us enjoyed knitting sessions by the pool.

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It’s baby animal season!

Well, it’s 16 days to the official start of spring. And what does spring mean? Cute little baby things everywhere! Baby birds, baby squirrels, baby horsies – we’ve already spotted some adorable baby animals here at KnitPicks HQ!

These are our two Barnyard Buddies kits – Springtime Sweeties and On the Farm. Each kit contains the pattern for two sets of a diaper cover and bonnet in two characters – a Duckie and Bunny in Springtime Sweeties and a Cow and Piggy in On the Farm. They come in sizes 0-3 months, 3-6 mos., 6-12 mos. and 12-18 mos.
These little costumes are just the thing to get oohs and aahhs from your family and friends. Worked in Swish Worsted, they’re an easy-care addition to dress-up day. In fact, they’re really just the thing for those photos that you …

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Kettle Dyed Shawlette

The Bad News: the kettle dyed versions of Stroll and Shadow are being discontinued.
The Good News: they’re being replaced with a new tonal hand dyed yarn that I find incredibly beautiful.
More Good News: Shadow Kettle Dyed Lace Yarn is on sale!

I had some Shadow Kettle Dyed in Bordeaux in my stash, and I wanted a quick knit for a flight I was taking. The free Citron shawlette pattern by Hilary Smith Callis (who also has a beautiful cardigan pattern in our Independent Designer Partnership Program) had been showing up in my Ravelry friends activity feed, so I downloaded it and got to work!

It’s a clever little pattern, and each ruched stripe is created by knitting a series of M1 increases, knitting plain for a few rows, then decreasing across the row. I like how it broke up …

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We have a knitting celebrity in Vancouver!

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Betsy McCarthy, an author (“Knitted Socks”)

and avid sock knitter… Last month Betsy was interviewed by Jane Pauley for The Today Show, which aired this morning… the cameras followed her around her home, her neighborhood and all the way to Tacoma, WA for the Madrona Fiber Festival. (this in turn caused me to follow her to Madrona as well). Betsy gave up the corporate world for a more relaxed knitting world. There’s additional information on the AARP website as well. I’ve had the pleasure to get to know Betsy through a local knit group. She’s a soft-spoken, wise lady with a wonderful love for knitting…
Well going to Madrona was another story in itself… I had a blast, spent a lot of money and met some wonderful knitters from around the Northwest.. (big shout out to the ladies in …

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Sock it to me!

I have a lot of sock yarn – between working here, my dyer friends who have sock clubs, our local yarny festivals (not least of which included Sock Summit!) and my local yarn store that stocks lots of indie sock yarn dyers (also where IDP designers Starr & Alex work!), I can’t seem to stop getting my hands on it!
So when we received our new Stroll Tonal samples, I was in absolute heaven – even the fact I couldn’t buy them yet did not diminish my enthusiasm.
I can’t even choose a favorite. I want a rainbow of these socks!
We’ve started getting in our samples from designers for their new patterns in too – so I grabbed Kate & Sarah & had a little bit of fun!

We even wore matching jeans!
I think what I love most about this yarn is how fantastic it …

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Fun times with IDP!

Have you checked out our IDP patterns lately? We have a whopping 165 patterns up from over 80 designers so far in the program! It’s been really fantastic seeing these beautiful designs & getting to know all of the designers – I only wish I could knit & crochet faster so I could make them all!
One of the more fun parts of my job is doing a photo shoot – while we love our designers to take their own shots (often they are even better than the ones we could set up!), sometimes they do not have the means & access to the kinds of photos we need. Being in charge of a photo shoot is something I have not had any experience with, but with help from our art director Christina & our photo gurus Sarah & Kerry, I somehow muddle through & have a lot of fun with …

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