Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Morning Has Broken

Images from this morning's walk at Mount Pollux Conservation Area in Amherst, Massachusetts

Morning walk at Mount Pollux a Conservation Area, Amherst, MA #amherst #summer #morning #westernma

Morning walk: view of Mount Norwottuck #amherst #summer #westernma #morning

Morning at Mount Pollux Conservation Area, Amherst, MA #amherst #summer #morning #westernma #joy

Morning sketch #sketch #summer #joy #amherst #westernma

Monday, August 25, 2014

Let's Knit Some Neckwear!

The Blue Peninsula Neckwear KAL starts a week from today. To be honest, it has kind of snuck up on me. In my mind, it's been "that thing I'm doing weeks from now when summer is over." It's hard for me to accept that our beautiful summer here in western Massachusetts is drawing to a close. I could see signs when I picked flowers at my CSA last week. Some of the zinnias' leaves were wilted and spotty, and the cosmos were starting to look a little less fresh.

Zinnias and cosmos at the Brookfield Farm #amherst #summer #joy #westernma #lovemassachusetts

The cool mornings are another sign of summer's end. But you know, I like them a lot. A cool morning is a knitter's morning—perfect for wearing lighter shawls and scarves, and so comfortable for knitting with wool. If your thoughts are turning to fall accessories, why not join us in the KAL?

It starts September 1 and continues through September 30. You can make any of my scarf, shawl, or cowl designs—here are some pattern ideas from my Ravelry shop. And free patterns such as Rising Fog or Kernel are options, too.

And do we have prizes? Yes, of course, lovely prizes ... like two skeins of Sunshine Yarns Luxury Sock (the yarn I used for my Skipperling scarf) ... one in Orange Poppy and one in Plum Goodness.

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I'm also giving away a pair of Signature Needle Arts knitting needles with Stiletto tips, size US #4/3.50mm:

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And I've sewn up a lined linen/cotton bag, just the right size for small knitting projects or for wallet/keys/phone when you don't want to carry a larger bag:

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And there's more! Midway through the KAL, I'll be giving away patterns as well as two skeins (300 yards) of beautiful handspun from Videnovich Farms in Michigan:

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I hope you'll join us, either to make something special for yourself or to get a jumpstart on your holiday knitting. I'll be making a new sample of my Bluet cowl, using Stitch Sprouts Yellowstone in the Caldera colorway:

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You'll find all the details here in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group. See you there!

Neckwear KAL Mosaic

Top row (left to right): Skipperling, Bluet, Peppernut, Stria









Friday, August 15, 2014

One Last Couplet Roundup

It's amazing to me that the Couplet KAL is already over—where did the time go? Well, I know everybody in the KAL wasn't wasting their knitting time—lots of beautiful socks were made and we all learned good stuff from each other about yarns we love, cast-on methods we like, etc.

Today I thought I'd share a few more Couplets, some that are still in progress and some that are finished. This was a "no pressure" KAL, with prizes awarded for participating rather than for FOs. It seemed like a relaxed way to approach a summer KAL, when vacations and kids being at home and the lure of outdoor activities can interrupt our usual knitting pace. 

Heather (afeistyknitter) is making the "without lace" version with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight. I love the name of the colorway—Deep Unrelenting Gray. It's just perfect, and so are her socks.


Judi (jsoule) made the lace version and used the same yarn I used for the original pair: Periwinkle Sheep in Gold Rush. She just finished hers up last night. They look great, don't they?


 Purple and pink seemed to be popular colors for Couplet. Julie (jchant) is knitting up hers in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in the Violeta colorway.


Julia (9crafty11) chose a purple as well. She reports that they're having a cold snap in her neck of the globe (Brisbane, Australia), so she's already been wearing her Couplets! She made the lace version in the larger of the pattern's two sizes and shortened the leg by working fewer repeats of the texture pattern. Her yarn? SofTrope Sock in the Viola colorway.


Another Julia (BangersAndMash) knit the lace version in a striking variegated blue colorway of MadelineTosh Sock called Spectrum. Like the other Julia, she modified the pattern to get the shorter leg length she prefers by working two fewer repeats of the texture pattern.


And I'm still plugging along on my second pair, which are a gift for the model. I had thought I could work at a leisurely pace and finish them in early fall. But lately the mornings here in western Mass. have been so cool, I feel like maybe I should speed up. She might want to wear them sooner than later.

Couplet socks in progress

The next Blue Peninsula KAL starts Monday, September 1. This time we're doing neckwear—cowls, scarves, and shawls. Some details (including prize photos) are already up on Ravelry if you're curious. I'll write more about it soon; in the meantime, you can see some pattern ideas here.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

New Pattern: Skipperling

Now available in my Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy pattern stores: a lace scarf called Skipperling.

Skipperling_1

Pattern: Skipperling, by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Sunshine Yarns Luxury Sock in the Lone Wolf colorway
Needles: US#4/3.50mm

Skipperling_2

A scarf for all seasons, Skipperling combines lace and twisted stitches in an elegant, feminine design that works equally well with jeans and a jacket or a little black dress. It's knit in fingering weight yarn in one piece, from end to end—no grafting required.

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Skipperling's lace pattern has "action" rows on both right and wrong sides (i.e., yarn overs and decreases are worked on every row). So it's slightly more complex than a lace pattern where the wrong-side rows are "rest" rows of purl stitches. But even so, it's not technically difficult—I found it knit up really fast. I was motivated to watch the pattern develop because it was so pretty, even before blocking.

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When someone commented on Facebook that the scarf-in-progress reminded them of butterflies, I was inspired to choose a butterfly-related name. I discovered there's a whole subfamily of butterflies named Skipperling, and I was delighted that one of them, the Many-spotted Skipperling, is even brown like the scarf and has spots like yarn overs.

Skipperling_3

If you'd like some company knitting Skipperling, come on over to the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group, where we're having a Neckwear KAL in September. If you don't want to make Skipperling, you can choose another of my patterns—we'll be knitting cowls, scarves, and shawls all month long. I'm still putting together all the details, but at this point I do know the prizes are going to be awesome—including two skeins of Luxury Sock from Sunshine Yarns! The KAL will start September 1 and end September 30.

Thanks go to Jenny for tech editing, and to everybody in the Blue Peninsula group who expressed interest in this pattern as I was knitting it. Your support and enthusiasm mean a lot!

Thank you very much for reading.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Ends

There are orange maple leaves on the grass in my backyard this morning. I will not think about them or photograph them. Instead, I'll think about picking some more blueberries at my CSA, the Brookfield Farm.

Brookfield Farm Blueberries

Fingers crossed this morning's dense fog will lift soon. I need to photograph the new scarf and some light would be nice! In the meantime, here are a couple of iPad shots of the two ends, which are different but similar.

New scarf design - two ends

New scarf design - two ends

The yarn—Luxury Sock from Sunshine Yarns—is soft and luscious. You can definitely feel the cashmere in the fiber. Perfect for around the neck!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Goodbye July!

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.

—William Blake

Brookfield Farm

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Flower Meadow at Kripalu

Hummingbird at Kripalu

Where did July go? How can it be over already? 

I had a quick vacation at Kripalu, which is where I snapped the flower meadow and hummingbird. It was a brief visit, but long enough to renew my energy and spirit, and it gave me lots of sketching, knitting, and stitching time ... 

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Couplet sock at Kripalu

Kripalu Sketch

Wrinkle Embroidery in progress

Kripalu Sketch

new wrinkle embroidery piece

Scarf in Progress, at Kripalu

The scarf on the picnic table? It's a new design, with lots of lace, a nice transitional piece for late summer/early fall. The yarn? A fingering weight blend of merino, cashmere, and nylon called Luxury Sock, from Sunshine Yarns.

Scarf Knitting at the Lady Killigrew

After getting a Eucalan bath yesterday, it was ready for its transformation on the blocking wires.

Eucalan Bath

New Scarf Design, Blocking

Details will be forthcoming just as soon as the pattern writing, editing, and photography are done. It will be available sometime in August—definitely before the start of the September Neckwear KAL we're having in the Blue Peninsula group on Ravelry.

To stay in the loop about the scarf, the KAL, and other news, sign up for the Blue Peninsula newsletter. The next issue will go out in August. 

Hummingbird at Kripalu

So often during July I wished I could slow down time. I wanted to hold on to summer's beauty forever. But of course, Blake's right—you have to kiss the joy as it flies—and just ...

Let Go
Meditation Garden at Kripalu

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Couplet Roundup #2

Lots of beautiful socks are being knit in the Couplet KAL on Ravelry. Some lightning-fast knitters have already finished, some have started the second sock, and others are just casting on.

One of the first to finish was mstephanie2. She chose a beautiful rose colorway of Trekking XXL:


Pinks and reds seem to be a popular color for Couplet. Kathy (kattyradie) is using a colorway called Raspberry Rose from Grant Creek Yarns:


Nadia (tricoteuse007) is knitting her Couplets in a pink color with the delightful name Land of Happy, from Three Irish Girls:


Blacks and browns are popular, too. Kristina (nordling) is using Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors in black. She worked an Eye of Partridge heel because she finds it more comfortable:


Meredith is making the "without lace" version of Couplet for her husband. The socks are truly a "couples" project, since he dyed the yarn in a workshop they took at Neighborhood Fiber Co. in Baltimore! (She has a very pretty knitting companion, don't you think?)


Maybe socks and dogs go together? Brenda (Brennee) is knitting her Couplets in a colorway called Army Girl from Pagewood Farm.


A summery green called Arugula from Jill Draper Makes Stuff has clearly made Beth (pbtajr) happy. I love her joyful "sock in the air" photo:


Come on over and join us! There are prizes (free patterns, yarn, and more) and it's also a great way to pick up some new sock knitting skills—Couplet knitters are sharing tips on favorite cast-ons, how to fix mistakes, make modifications, etc. 

The Couplet KAL continues through August 6. You can find the pattern in my RavelryEtsy, and Craftsy pattern stores.