Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumn Equinox Flash Sale


In celebration of the autumn equinox, I'm having a one-day sale in my Ravelry pattern store. Use the coupon code FALL2014 to get 20% off any Blue Peninsula pattern or ebook.

Sale ends tomorrow (September 23) at 8:00 am EST. 

Happy fall!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Neckwear KAL Projects, Part I

Shawls, scarves, and cowls are flying off the needles in the Blue Peninsula Neckwear KAL, and today I thought I'd share a few of them with you. One of the first projects finished was Beth's Peppernut, which she knit in the Topaz colorway of Isager Strik's Highland Yarn.


Beautiful, isn't it? In her project notes, Beth links to this video tutorial for working nupps with a crochet hook. I haven't tried this technique, but now that I've watched the video, I definitely want to give it a try. It looks so easy!


Several knitters are making Shallows for the KAL, some with beads and some without. Hannah knit hers with a natural undyed laceweight yarn called Mimi. I think her substitution of laceweight for the fingering weight specified in the pattern worked out really well. Her elegant Shallows has a beautiful halo and looks incredibly soft and cozy.

When it comes to color, I often gravitate toward neutrals, so it's a revelation to see my designs knit in bright, saturated colors. Like Heather's Stagger Cowl, in a stunning electric blue colorway of Berroco's Vintage DK:


Another example: Amy's lovely Skipperling. She says the hot pink colorway of Malabrigo Sock, chosen by her ten-year-old daughter, will be a welcome pop of color on a cold winter day. I agree!


Another bright FO: Arlene's Warble Cowl. She used a rich red colorway of Quince & Co. Chickadee (Pomegranate):


Judi's elegant Skipperling, just off her needles, shows how the pattern works in a more subdued color. She knit hers with Skacel's HiKoo yarn in a colorway called Hawaiian Volcanoes. 


Bluet is another popular KAL pattern. For her Bluet, Sherri used a deep blue shade of Handwerks Silky DK. What a great choice of yarn—its stitch definition is perfectly suited for this design. (By the way, Sherri's a prolific KAL member—she's also already finished a lovely lavender Shallows.)


My own Bluet, which I'm making in Stitch Sprouts Yellowstone in a burnt orange color called Caldera, is coming along ...

First knitting for today: a few rounds of Bluet in Yellowstone #bluepeninsula #bpnk2014 #knitting #knittersofinstagram #knit #cowl

See more of the KAL FOs here. We're continuing through the end of the month, and quite a few people are making two, even three, projects. It's not too late to join—you can cast on any time. Hope to see you!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September Events

The fall craft fair and fiber festival season is here! I can't wait to go to Rhinebeck next month. I'm working on a Rhinebeck sweater, but other than that I haven't thought a whole lot about October yet. There's so much happening this month that I need to focus on before I can wrap my head around next month. (I'm sure you know the feeling!)

Next Saturday, I'll be participating once again in Art Behind the Barn at my CSA, the Brookfield Farm in Amherst, Massachusetts. It's 8:00 am–1:00 pm, Saturday, September 20, at 24 Hulst Road (off Bay Road in South Amherst, just east of South East Street).

Couple more ... Does my studio smell nice! #embroidery #lavender  #sachets

Art Behind the Barn features handmade items by farm shareholders—everything from greeting cards to jewelry to items for the home. We set up our tables under the lean-to behind the barn, and the event happens rain or shine. 

These two use an up cycled blouse and ties #embroidery #upcycle #lavender

I'll be selling my embroidered lavender/chamomile sachets, linen/cotton bags, and Moleskin journal covers. 

Linen and cotton project bags

Linen and cotton project bag with Lotta Jansdotter fabrics #sewing

Detail #sewing

The bags are lined with contrasting fabrics and are the perfect size for small to medium knitting projects. And the journal covers can be used again and again—just put in a fresh notebook when you've filled the old one.

Moleskin journal covers (reusable)

The following Saturday—September 27—I'll be teaching embroidery at Knack: The Art of Clever Reuse in Easthampton. You'll learn basic embroidery techniques as you stitch a simple design that you can use to make a sachet. 

Stitching up lavender-chamomile sachets today for Art Behind the Barn 9/20 #embroidery #lavender

We usually don't have time during the two-hour class to sew the sachet, but you'll take home instructions for that—along with your own fragrant bag of chamomile and lavender. You don't need previous embroidery experience and all supplies are provided. Sign up at Knack

Last one! Might be my first sewing session where I didn't accidentally sew two wrong sides together

Knack is located at Eastworks, a renovated mill in Easthampton, Massachusetts. After class—if you can manage to pry yourself away from Knack's amazing collection of upcycled crafting supplies (fabric, threads, paper, yarn, needles, paint, burlap bags, books, charms, etc. etc. etc.)—it's fun to explore the building. It's home to shops, artist lofts, yoga and ballet studios, my favorite hair salon (The Lift), restaurants, and more. 

If you're in western Mass., I hope you can make it to Art Behind the Barn or Knack. Wherever you are, I hope you have a beautiful Sunday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Lost and Found

Some pages from my Lost & Found sketchbook ... a nasturtium seed prompted me to return to this project after more than a year's hiatus.

Lost and found sketch 090514

Button Sketch

Lost and Found Sketch_September 2012

Lost & found sketch

Lost & found sketch

Dead Moth

Friday, September 05, 2014

Progressing

So much is in progress right now. Lots of balls in the air! I'd like to have something finished to show you but I don't. So here's a WIP report. Hopefully the pictures make up for the lack of completion ...

First up: Bluet, which I'm making for the Blue Peninsula Neckwear KAL. The yarn is a luscious new merino/silk blend from Stitch Sprouts called Yellowstone; the colorway is Caldera.

Pea soup humidity gone! Lotsa knitting gonna happen today #bpnk2014 #bluepeninsula #knit #knitstagram #knittersofinstagram

A few rounds each morning is all I can devote to this project ... But as we knitters know, every little bit counts! One rep of lace chart done. #bpnk2014 #bluepeninsula #knit #knitstagram #knittersofinstagram

So far I've done the rib chart and one repeat of the lace chart. Pretty good progress, considering I only work on this for a little while each morning. 

The KAL continues through September 30, with prizes drawn on 9/19 and 10/1. Come join us—we're having a great time! You can cast on any time this month and make any of my scarf, shawl, or cowl patterns. 

I've also been swatching for a new cowl design. It's got cables. slipped stitches, plenty of texture.

I'm liking this swatch even better than just-picked raspberries, which is saying a lot #knit #knitstagram #knittersofinstagram #bluepeninsula

One more swatch to go, and then I think I'll have all the elements worked out.

WIPS

If the weather's cool enough, I'll be wearing my new burnt-orange Bluet at Rhinebeck in October, and—fingers crossed—maybe also a new sweater. The stitch patterns are variations of those in Bluet, so I'm hoping the two pieces will look good worn together. We'll see!

Can't get over how evenly this new Yellowstone yarn knits up ... #bluepeninsula #knit #knitstagram #knittersofinstagram #stitchsprouts

Back in July, when I started a pair of Couplets for my sister Jackie, it seemed like I had "forever" to finish them—it was much too hot to wear wool socks. But now? It was only 50F one morning recently. Time to step up the pace! The first one's almost at the toe, so I can claim to be "nearly halfway done."

Couplet

And then ... ahem ... dare I mention my oldest WIP? I started my Seersucker afghan in spring of 2010, thinking I'd have it done by the fall. (I know, I know, I can hear you all laughing.) This February, four years later, I finally finished knitting the 48 squares! 

Oldest WIP

But then ... there's the seaming ... without that, it will never be more than a pile of squares. Luckily, motivation has arrived in the form of my new futon. I picked a cover that perfectly matches the afghan. 

New futon

So now I have to finish seaming, right? Right. And, Snickers is keeping an eye on me so I don't slack off.

Hope you have a terrific weekend!

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.

Skipperling_6

Skipperling_4

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.

Skipperling_7

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.