American Wool Series

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Knit Fit! 2015

A few weeks have passed since Knit Fit and I finally feel recovered from all of the socializing that attends volunteering and chatting with fellow knitters, vendors, and teachers. This year I spent quite a bit of time in the market compared to other years and purchased items that I had been thinking about over the course of the year. Honestly, the market gets better and better each year and I went a little bonkers this year.

My big purchase this year was one of Dave Yocom's hand-turned wood yarn bowls. Talk about a marriage of beauty and function; all of Dave's yarn bowls are natural wood and showcase the grain of the wood with no added dyes or stains. I chose a medium bowl in sapele mahogany with spalted maple inlays. Also pictured, a skein of Spincycle Dyed in the Wool in Devilish Grin. I have cast on plans for this skein - a Fandangle hat by Andi Satterlund - which I would like to finish by Christmas. 

A new vendor this year was Cedar House Yarns. This is a skein of Sapling Sock in Bark. Jenn and her husband are super nice and they've got a lovely color palette in their yarn line. The yardage is also really great in the sock yarn; 463 yards of superwash merino and nylon. 

Oh, Bumblebirch. Sarah was at Knit Fit last year but I was on a super duper tight budget at the time so I could only daydream about her yarns. This year I knew I wanted to purchase from her and I had such a difficult time choosing since I wanted ALL of her colors. In the end I picked up two different weights to try out. At bottom is heartwood, a fingering weight yarn (463 yds!), in the color Wednesday. At top is forage, a 4-ply worsted weight, in the color Honey. Wednesday is calling my name and is on the docket to be cast on post holiday knitting. 

Tweed yarn never looked so good. Intrepid Otter was missing from the market last year due to an unexpected illness but I was glad to see her back this year with this shiny new tweed sock yarn. I picked this bright, slightly scummy green to knit myself a pair of socks. Chubby Cloud was also back at the market with her awesome print bags. This year, I chose a zipper pouch in a great orange and yellow stockinette print with an olive green geometric floral print on the inside. 

Finally, (told you I went bonkers this year) I spent a good deal of time at the YOTH booth because WOW. Danny and Veronika have gorgeous yarns and introduced new colors to their palette, as well as a new yarn base. 

At bottom is the new 100% American sourced and milled worsted weight yarn, Father, in the Caviar color. This stuff is light and lofty and will make a fantastic hat. The upper two colors are both Big Sister, a dk weight yarn in sw merino, cashmere, and nylon, in rosemary (blue-gray) and mango (yellow). Mango comes from the new Juicy Palette, featuring various shades of yellow, orange, and green.  I also purchased a couple of gifts but I can't share those, sorry!

I love that the Knit Fit! market features so many local independent dyers and businesses. Putting my money back into the local economy makes me feel good about my purchases and that I'm supporting people who love the knitting industry as much as I do. I'll see you at Knit Fit 2016!

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Hello, friends! I took a much-needed hiatus from most social media and internet-type stuff for the last month or so; I needed to recharge my batteries so I could finish this year up right. I have exciting knitting-related news to share early next year and lots of news to share right now. 

First, I've been knitting things in pretty much the same color palette. 

Lots of burnt oranges, dk blues and teals, and autumnal yellows. There's also been a lot of green yarn in the mix but I'll share that in another post. 

I volunteered at Knit Fit! this year and had a great time hanging out with knitters and crafters and vendors.  The marketplace gets better every year and it's a wonderful thing to see so many returning students and shoppers, teachers and vendors. 

Speaking of the market, I had several favorite booths but I only took pictures of two: Hazel Knits and Bumblebirch. I've got another post coming on my market haul since I went a little bit crazy this year.

Sarah, the dyer behind Bumblebirch, totally got me with her color palette.  I had a really difficult time choosing just one (so I got two). 

Wendee at Hazel Knits had a gorgeous display of knit sweaters, shawls, and other accessories. I just purchased some yarn of hers as a birthday present to myself in October but I went ahead and purchased enough for a sweater because who doesn't want to knit a fingering weight sweater in a color named Lichen? I also spent a great deal of time at some other booths, chatting with other knitters and with dyers, too. 

Now it's almost Thanksgiving and I've got oodles of gift knitting to do. And pies to bake. And parties to attend. And another year to wrap up in what I hope will be a nice-ish leisurely sort of way but will probably be more like a frantic sprint.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fall Faves: Sweater Weather!

This is something of a 2-in-1 post. I love sweaters! A lot of the reason why I love fall is that the weather cools down enough that I can start wearing my fall/winter uniform of sweaters with skirts or dresses and tights with boots. Seriously. I pretty much live in that combination of clothes for about 9 months out of the year and only give up on my tights and boots when absolutely necessary. 

I recently finished Chuck after having some misfires on choosing a size and being able to knit two sleeves alike. But it all worked out! Looky there!

Pattern: Chuck by Andi Satterlund
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Palm
Needles: US # 7 (4.5 mm) Hiya Hiya Sharp Interchangeables
Mods: This is yarn frogged from Myrna so my stitches look a bit wonky but most of that will block out after repeated wear and wash. I didn't do a gauge swatch since the two sweaters call for the same gauge and thankfully that worked out just fine and dandy. I knit the size L (41) to the underarm cast on and then switched to the XL (45) for the rest of the body after knitting the entire thing in size L and deciding that I didn't like the fit of 2 inches of negative ease through my waist. The second sleeve got knit twice since the first time around I started the cap shaping in the wrong spot so the sleeve cap was off center. Phew! 

I'm so happy with this new sweater! Chuck sat in my knitting queue for a long time since I couldn't decide if a cropped pullover would suit my body type. I think it looks just smashing with my fit and flare dresses and will be a go-to piece this fall and winter. 

What's your favorite sweater? Do you have a uniform that you wear in the fall?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall Faves: Records!

If you've been a long time reader of the blog you'll know that I am a bit of an audiophile. I recently got rid of about 90% of my cds ( I have a small selection in my car) to make room for more vinyl. I'm not a huge fan of stuff but one of the few things I collect are records and my little collection has grown over the time I've lived in Seattle.

 My taste is pretty eclectic.

When fall hits I usually have the urge to listen to records all the time, maybe it's a throwback from high school and college where I'd go listen to music at a friend's house while we did homework? I don't know. What I do know is that records are in heavy rotation lately and I love it.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fall Faves: G&T

I love gin. During the summer months I usually stick to hard cider and wheat beers but when the weather starts to grow chill I crave something a little stronger. My preferred combination is Bombay Sapphire Gin with lots of ice and extra lime to go with a bit of tonic. There's something about being bundled up and cozy while drinking a refreshing gin & tonic that does wonders for my outlook on life. Do you have a favorite cold weather cocktail?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Fall Favorites: Color

Welcome to October! This is absolutely my favorite time of year and every year I use the month of October to think about the things I love and am grateful for. It's my birthday month so I find that it's a good time to reflect on the past year and what I've accomplished. It's sometimes difficult to give yourself a nice pat on the back and recognize that you've done a pretty darn good job at whatever it is you do - whether it's work or family or knitting or all of the above. The past few months have felt particularly difficult to me so I'm starting off with a kicker! This video is one I shared last year and it's a goody. I can, and have, watched it over and over and over. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

WIP: Vanilla Commuter Socks

Well, that was an unexpected break. I looked down for a few minutes and it turned into a month; where does the time go? Honestly, there has been a ton of knitting happening but I can't share some of it year-ish. That's not at all fun for you all so I do have a project I can share with you - more stripey socks! 

I cast on my usual 64-stitch vanilla socks on a US #1 (2.25 mm) hiya hiya needle and knit about an inch of 2x2 ribbing. I'm using waste yarn to mark my afterthought heel placement and I'm using my Zombie Hello Kitty socks as my guide since I'm using the same yarn. 

The yarn is Canon Hand Dyes Charles Self-Striping Sock in "I am all astonishment", a  Pride & Prejudice colorway that Jessica picked up for me at Madrona this spring. I love this yarn base and Amy's colors are totally great. Early in the summer I decided to knit up the self-striping yarns from my stash by the end of the year and this is the second of those pairs. I'm fairly certain I have three (maybe four) more skeins of self-striping yarn so I'm not sure I'll get them all done by the end of the year but I'm going to try!