Friday, April 18, 2014

Knitting in Black and White

If you've been thinking about signing up for the Woolen Rabbit 2014 yarn club, don't wait much longer. Kim announced yesterday on Facebook that there are only 10 spots left.

I'm so excited to be the June 2014 designer. Lately I've been busy swatching and planning my pattern, which I'm knitting in a beautiful new colorway of Chantilly, a merino/silk laceweight. I don't want to spoil the surprise of either the design or the color, but here are some black-and-white images that show a little without giving away much ...

Lace to Come


Wise Owl

Lace to Come

Lace to Come

Lace to Come

The Chantilly is sumptuous—so, so silky—and the fabric is airy and light. Just a dream to knit!

It's Friday, spring is here (sort of—we actually had snow the other day!), and I really want to include some color in this post. Since knitting is out, how about stitching? I've started a new daily embroidery piece. This one began with wrinkles embroidered in back stitch and is now moving into new territory ...

Daily Embroidery

Often when I'm stitching, bits of poetry or songs float into my mind. This morning it was a line from Whitman's "Song of Myself"... "clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul."

Daily Embroidery

There are still a few spots left in my Fun Stitches embroidery class coming up at Knack April 26. Come join me to learn couching, Pekinese, woven circles, and lots more truly fun and colorful stitches. All supplies are provided.

Hope you have a beautiful weekend!


Friday, April 04, 2014

A Morning Offering


May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers …

from “A Morning Offering” by John O’Donohue

Wrinkle Embroidery

I think I'm nearing the finish line on this wrinkle embroidery piece. Maybe a few more French knots. Then I'll sit with it awhile before mounting it on stretchers.

Wrinkle Embroidery, detail

I worked some whipped backstitch in this one, which is really fun to do. If you'd like to learn it, along with Pekinese, woven circles, cloud filling, and other two-color and embellished stitches, join me Saturday, April 26 for Fun Stitches at Knack in Easthampton. It's filling up, but there are still a few spots left (enrollment is limited to ten). You should have some recent embroidery experience or have taken my Embroidery I class. Sign up at Knack.

Fun Stitches Sampler

You never know what you'll find at Knack. Last time I was there, I picked up a great new/old box for my embroidery threads:

New Old Box

Threads!

By the way, have you seen Rebecca Ringquist's new Color Burst samplers? They are so bright and cheerful! Read all about them at Dropcloth.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Weekend Swatching

Weekend Swatching

This golden yarn—Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors in the Gold Rush colorway—was on my needles much of the weekend.

Weekend Swatching

I swatched my way from one coffeeshop to another, starting at the Lady Killigrew at the Montague Book Mill, where I watched the Sawmill River rush by as I knit.

Weekend Swatching

A chai at Amherst Coffee hit the spot as I swatched while waiting to see Grand Budapest Hotel just a few doors down.

Weekend Swatching

Small swatches ... for small projects. I'm thinking ahead to the hot days of summer when handling large wool projects like sweaters really isn't much fun. Summer's great for small projects like socks and mitts, things that aren't too taxing—easy to take along on vacations.

Some beautiful merino/silk laceweight arrived at my door, from Kim at the Woolen Rabbit, and I immediately began swatching with that, too. Wish I could show it to you, but it must remain a secret for now.

Kim's announced the designers for her 2014 Yarn Club—the theme this year is "Once Upon a Time." Look for my design—something lovely in an exquisite new color of Chantilly—in June. Sign ups begin Tuesday, April 1. There are only 150 slots, so don't wait!

Bluet Cowl

April 1 is also the last day of the special Ravelry promotion on my Bluet cowl. Use the coupon code SPRING2014 to receive a $1.00 discount.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Pattern: Bluet Cowl

 Bluet_4

A lacy cowl for spring: Bluet.

Bluet_2
Pattern: Bluet, by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Louet Gems Sport in the Aqua colorway
Needle: US 5/3.75mm 24-inch circular

Bluet_3

The pattern is available now in my Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy shops.

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Worked seamlessly in the round, Bluet requires about 430 yards of sport or DK weight yarn. When I was knitting the sample, people sometimes commented on how much they liked the cables. But there are no cables in this design—it's all knits, purls, some twisted stitches, and lace. It's not worked at as loose a gauge as lace normally is, and when I blocked it, I didn't stretch out the fabric at all. I wanted the stitches to retain their appealing texture.

Bluet_1

In celebration of spring, I'm offering a sale on the pattern in my Ravelry shop, through April 1. Use the coupon code SPRING2014 to get $1.00 off.

Bluet_5

I named Bluet after one of my favorite tiny spring flowers. It still feels very much like winter here in Massachusetts, but spring must be coming, right? As I wait, I just keep stitching robin's egg blue into my days.

Spring stitching

Many thanks to Jenny for her careful editing of the pattern.

Thank you very much for reading!






Thursday, March 20, 2014

Doubly Blessed

Today it's finally spring!  It's also my beautiful mom's birthday.

Me and mom, Wichita, 1957

Here we are in Wichita in 1957. I was only nine months old, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't walking yet. Looks like I was holding on to the laundry basket for dear life, with Mom about to catch me or pick me up.

Happy birthday, Mom!  Love you so much.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Afoot and Light-hearted

Lately during this never-ending winter, I find myself scrolling back through the photos on my iPad to pictures I took last summer. I need to remind myself that, once upon a time, lakes weren't frozen ...

Dragonfly

Once upon a time, everything was green ...

Viriditas

These pictures pretty much sum up my heart's desire. As does this excerpt from Walt Whitman's Song of the Open Road ...

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road. 
 
Tulips
 
My heart longs for color, light, and warmth. I can't wait to walk down familiar green paths again.
 
How about you?

Thursday, March 06, 2014

New Pattern: Warble

I've always loved that Quince & Co. yarns are named after birds. So when I sent in a submission last fall in response to their call for scarf designs, I gave it a name inspired by birdsong.

Scarves, Etc. 2014 is finally out, and when I first saw it, I nearly stopped breathing. My Warble Cowl is on the cover!

photos by Carrie Bostick Hoge, courtesy Quince & Co.

Warble is knit in Chickadee, Quince's sportweight/DK weight yarn. If I had to choose only one yarn to knit with for the rest of my life, I'd choose Chickadee in a heartbeat. This sweet little wool works beautifully for every kind of garment and any kind of stitch. All the designs I've made with it—from Pomegranate to Briscoe to Killigrew to Warble—have been a joy to knit and wear.



This design hibernated for a while before suddenly coming together in a flash. From the first time I saw it in a Japanese stitch dictionary, I wanted to use the pretty lace stitch at the center of Warble in a design. But every idea I had for lace stitches to pair with it didn't seem to work. So I filed it away in the back of my mind, trusting that I'd figure it out eventually.

As I was looking at cable patterns and mulling over ideas for the Scarves, Etc. submission call, my mind cast back into that "figure it out later" file drawer and I had one of those proverbial "lightbulb" moments: pair it with cables, not more lace!

Within a couple of swatches it all came together: a central lace panel, with cables on either side, framed by plenty of crisp seed stitch.


Be sure to take a look at the beautiful Scarves, Etc. 2014 lookbook. There are 14 different patterns, and all of them just perfect for spring—or maybe for getting a jump on your holiday knitting?


The patterns can be purchased individually, or get all 14 together in an ebook, either from Quince & Co. or on Ravelry.

There's also a Scarves, Etc. 2014 KAL starting March 17. Check out this thread in the Quince group on Ravelry for details.

Thank you very much for reading!


Saturday, March 01, 2014

March Stitching

March!  It makes me so happy to turn the page to this month. Even if more snow is coming tomorrow and it doesn't look or feel like spring, this is the month when spring really does arrive. Hurray!

I'm proofreading something pretty (knit) this weekend that I think I'll be able to share with you later this week. It's exciting—I can't wait. In the meantime, here's some of my other stitching, the embroidered kind:

March of the French Knots

I'm looking forward to teaching Embroidery I at Knack this morning. Today I'm doing lots of blue French knots in my current piece, so I'll use it to demonstrate them.

If you've got some embroidery experience under your belt and want to expand your repertoire, come join me next month at Knack for a class called Fun Stitches on April 26. We'll make a sampler using colorful woven and embellished stitches: couching, Pekinese, woven circles, cloud filling, and more.

Fun Stitches

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 24, 2014

New Pattern: Knoppen Hat

With spring less than a month away, it's not too soon to knit yourself a pretty spring hat. May I suggest Knoppen? The pattern is now available in my Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy shops.

Knoppen_2_72
Pattern: Knoppen Hat, by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy, in the Juliette's Blush colorway


Knit in the round with fingering weight yarn, the Knoppen Hat is named after a Dutch word meaning "buds." The whole time I was knitting Knoppen, its leaf lace and the lovely lilac-colored yarn made me think of spring. So, a name suggesting spring buds seemed just right.

Knoppen_1_72

Knoppen_3_72

The pattern provides instructions for three sizes requiring 185 to 225 yards/170 to 206m. You could probably get two hats out of most skeins of sock yarns (most definitely with the generous yardage of Dream in Color Smooshy—450 yards per skein). I knit the sample in the largest size; my swatch and the hat weighed in at half the skein, or about 225 yards.

Knoppen_4_72

Knoppen's lace motif is quite easy and quick to work. And whether you prefer charts or written instructions, the pattern's got you covered—it provides both. 

Knoppen_6_72

Thanks are in order to:
  • Amber, talented web designer, crafter, and cofounder of Knack: The Art of Clever Reuse, for modeling again. (She also modeled the Rowhouse Hat and Briscoe, and is really getting to be a pro!) The morning of the photo shoot was dark and gloomy, but Amber saved the day by pointing out a well-lit stairwell at Eastworks that turned out to be an excellent backdrop.
  • My sister Jenny, for her careful technical editing.
  • My sister Jackie, for suggesting the absolutely perfect pattern name. I had another spring-themed name in mind but wanted to save it for a different pattern. Where would I be without my talented sisters?
Thank you very much for reading. May spring buds bloom all around you soon!

Easter Sunday Sketch





Friday, February 21, 2014

Done, Done, So Very Done

I am so very done with winter. No matter how pretty the snow looks at first, it ends up like this for weeks and weeks:

Done with Winter

So that's outdoors today. Indoors, things are considerably brighter. This morning I had fun shooting the next Blue Peninsula design with my friend Amber, cofounder of Knack: The Art of Clever Reuse:

Knoppen Hat

My hat for the Ravellenic Games is all done, which means I'll soon be on the podium to receive my medals in the Hat Halfpipe, Lace Luge, and Single Skein Speedskate. It's knit in fingering weight yarn, Dream in Color Smooshy.

Knoppen Hat

Don't you think this colorway, called Juliette's Blush, is the perfect cure for the winter blues?

The pattern will be ready soon. In the meantime, here are links to other cheerful things I've come across around the Web recently:




Friday, February 14, 2014

More Snow Day Stitching

Creative mess: my favorite kind ...

Untitled

Thanks to another Nor'easter yesterday, I received the beautiful gift of extra time for all kinds of stitching.

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Snow Day Snickers

Snickers rarely left her "station" by the picture windows yesterday. The birds kept coming, as long as I kept tossing out sunflower seeds.

My yard looks like this now:

Woodpecker and Snow

Lovely, isn't it? Even so, I feel "done" with winter and snow. I think my new hat design, with its lilac color and leafy lace motif, expresses that sentiment pretty well.


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I cast on a week ago for the Ravellenic Games and finished up yesterday. Look for the pattern later this month!

Time now for my morning stitching. It's Day 33 on my current daily embroidery piece.

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Happy Valentine's Day and Full Moon!