Monday, April 29, 2013

  So, when this whole knitting thing began for me, it was about yarn.  A thousand different yarns that could be made into a thousand different things.   And that got me into this subculture we all inhabit.  But as you guys all know,  the yarn is actually an entry drug -  and once you step off the computer into an actual room with your fellow knitters, it isn't only about the yarn anymore, it's really about the people.   

Especially (for me) the two sisters sitting in the back of this U-Haul with their hats and their sweatshirts and their big smiles.  They have created a subculture inside the larger subculture that is Ravelry and the online knitting world, and it's a good place to be.

I'm just back from three days in Michigan at the Plucky Knitter Retreat - and yes, that is some gorgeous yarn, so maybe in this case it's still somewhat about the yarn - an entire room of it in colors that make you gasp - but the real stars of the weekend for me were the knitters.   Some of who I had met in person before - like Jody here in her blue Cape Cod -  and others who I feel like I know so well, but had never been in a room with - like Snow in her green Cape Cod and Jennifer in her yellow Vodka Lemonade.  

 Having the chance to spend actual time with all of the Plucky knitters who were there was such a special experience.  (It was kind of crazy, seeing so many of you guys wearing my sweaters in real life!)  It was great to meet everyone and to hang out and hear about your lives, and to pick yarns in the shop, or think about your projects, or talk about your kids and jobs and drinks, or talk about whatever we talked about.   (And then the bar opened and we began discussing things about chicken anatomy that should never be discussed.)


But then there was knitting class, so in addition to leaning all about birds, I added some more useful information to my repetoire.

 The class I chose was Lorilee Beltman's course on vertical colorwork.  Stay tuned to see how my new vertical skills show up in some stuff for Fall.   It's really fun and totally addicting - and Lorilee is a great instructor with some cool tips and tricks up her sleeves.  

The weekend included a little jaunt out to Lake Michigan, which does not feel like a lake at all.    It's sandy and beachy and you can't see to the other side, which is like 60 miles away or something.  What a gorgeous spot this was - I would love to use this beach for a photo shoot someday.   Like maybe April 2014 - if I could get myself organized to do so.

 Besides the beach and the classes and the meeting of people, there was maybe some yarn shopping.  I have arrived home prepared to knit, don't you worry.   As wonderful as these lovely ladies were, the Plucky yarn could not ever actually be ignored.


  A pile of Primo Sport - Narragansett Gray and Left Coast, paired with Miniature Lilacs and Wintry Mix is to become a stripey something.

This collection of Primo Worsted - I love the bright blue against the navy - is going to be a colorwork cowl.   And I seriously have to thank Jill Zelinsky of Kniterella designs, who is one of those women I had so much fun meeting.  She is super nice and probably will never admit how crazy I drove her with all my second guessing of the dark blue/teal/bright blue conundrum.  Which was never really decided and continually revisited.   The poor girl was a captive audience since her shop table was setup right there next to the Worsted.

Primo Aran in icy Early Light will be a cabled pullover this fall, and Cozy in deep gorgeous Contessa is going to be done in lace, as requested specifically by Snow - Bless Her Little Heart.

 One more batch of Primo Aran in mixed purples, for a second cowl. 

And lastly,  a skein of NEW yarn to play with - just look at the twist on this.   It's the upcoming Plucky Trusty....


 And there is really SO much more I could share -  but I have got to get things done, because NO, my husband did not go to the store when I was gone.  Except to get some lamb chops, which were grilled and eaten on Saturday night.  Yep, really.  Went TO the store, but only got those lamb chops.

So stop by later this week for that post on Amy Herzog's Knit to Flatter - if you haven't seen her new Plucky Sweater design - be sure to take a peek -

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Introducing Cape Cod, a simple, slouchy pullover for spring and summer.   

Lots of stockinette, a bit of lace, and distinct edgings make for a fun and versatile knit.   Top down construction makes for easy modifications and no seaming.  Perfect knitting for when the sun comes out and you have a cocktail on the porch.

The two lace panels on the front are actually the halves of the the arrowhead motif on back, worked so the design slants towards the center of the body for a flattering effect.  I loved this lace - detailed without being fussy, with a bit of texture to it.   And of course, easier to work than you'd think.  ;)

 I've knit my Cape Cod in The Plucky Knitter's Plucky Sweater - in a crazy gorgeous red/orange called Karat Stix.  

Plucky Sweater is a delicate merino and nylon blend, so Cape Cod is light to wear, but still warm.  Perfect on a cool night, and still good when the season changes.   However, Cape Cod would lend itself perfectly to a cotton or silk blend if you wanted a more summery vibe without any wool content.

I love the bright pop of color, the comfy fit and the simple lines of this one.  Melissa is not keeping this one.

Cape Cod is for sale on the sidebar at the left or on Ravelry for 6.50.  
Some information is below and the rest of the details can be found here

Yarn:  Plucky Sweater (270 yds per skein) in Karat Stix. 950(1050,1150,1250,1350,1400,1450)(1550,1650,1750,1850,1900)yds. 

Needles:  US#6/4mm needles, or size to get gauge. Plucky Sweater is a light worsted, so if subbing traditional worsted, US#7/3.5mm needles may do the trick.   

Sizing   -  Finished bust measurement:  33.75(36.25,37.75,40.25,41.75,44.25,45.75) (48.25,49.75,52.25,53.75,56.25)”   I suggest picking the size that gives you 3-4" of ease based on your actual bust.  For a more fitted sweater, pick the size just above your bust.  I do not suggest negative ease, as the lace will stretch where you don't want it stretching.

Gauge  -  5 sts, 7 rows = 1” flat in stockinette, after blocking. 

And for the drink? 
 This is how you have a Cape Cod.  Outside.   

The recipe is about as simple as the sweater.

1.5- 2oz vodka
4-6 oz cranberry juice
slice of lime
ice cubes
(you can use sparkling cranberry or mix with seltzer for a spritz version)


The earrings worn here are by my friend Cynthia Machata, who always gives me such gorgeous jewelry, and her stuff can be found on her blog Antiquity Travelers.   Melissa can't keep these either.  Although I think she still does have 'em.....

Monday, April 22, 2013

with my sister included this:

and this:

I was excited about both.  ;)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What a week.  After the roller coaster ride that has been life in Boston over our April break, it will feel good to get back to the usual routines again tomorrow.  Thank you all for your support of my sister's friends, Patrick and Jess - a note was posted on their donation page saying how overwhelmed they are at the outpouring of donations and notes from friends, and friends of friends and total strangers.


Friday was supposed to be my "stop" on Amy Herzog's Knit to Flatter book tour, but as the manhunt began all around us, we decided to postpone.   I've known Amy since the beginning of her journey and am so proud and excited to see the result of all the hard work she's put into her series of tutorials and classes and designs, and cannot wait to share the book with you.  It's good.

So stay tuned, as my post will follow at the end of the tour now, and it'll include a giveaway :)  I have not pinned my new date down with Amy yet, but since I leave for Michigan on Friday, and have a few things to get done before I go,  it may be after I return.

A week of vacation and limbo does mean a lot of knitting, and I was so glad that my projects over the week could focus on some really, really, really GOOD news.   A baby is coming home today.  Her Mom is one of the most special people I've ever known, and I've known her since we were 12.   She wore yellow overalls on that first day of 7th grade.  Little L has been a long time coming, and I can't wait to squoosh her later this week when she arrives in town.   I plan on keeping her hatted until she's five.   And I am SO getting her yellow overalls.

I also managed to knit quite a lot on my next Plucky this week, so I will have two finished and not-yet-published sweaters for the Retreat next weekend.  As I said before,  I'm leaving on Friday morning, and squooshing all the yarn - plus Sarah and Hayley - will be almost as good as squooshing the new baby, but not quite.   

 (Plucky Traveler Sport in Back 40 - and this  unblocked, poorly lighted photo does NOT do the deep green justice.)


Anyways, that catches you up for now.  There are three more summer sweaters in various stages of planning, but it's the yard that needs to be planted and some kids that need to be taken to the beach right now that I will spend the remainder of the day on.  


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sorry, it has not been a week for blogging.   As many of you know, there was a terrible tragedy here in Boston, and most of us are reeling.   It's a small city and there are not so many layers that separate most of us from those who have been affected by Monday's bombings. 

Jess and Patrick are friends of my sister.  They are a young couple in their 20s, and both were horribly injured.  There is a long, hard road ahead of them.  Please think about helping. 

You can follow the link below, and any amount is appreciated:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I love swatching.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Like, which of these three yarns  from Green Mt. Spinnery best suits the cardigan idea upon which they are piled?

Or, can I figure out a tank or tee that's going to use both these almost-sweater quantities of cotton in my stash?  Should I go with  colorblocks, a little more stranded design (oh yes, I am hooked on this now), some slipped stitches, or a bit of lace?

Or, which of these yarns might add something new and exciting to the BabyCocktails lineup, and what fibers/weights/colors do I want to play with and add to the Plucky and SHELTER ideas I already have in mind for fall?  I've been moving these little piles around all week, and a trip to Seed Stitch in Salem (a super amazing yarn shop, BTW) yesterday has only added to the pile. 


Then, there are all the decisions circling around an idea I have for a collection and how best to go about publishing it.  Not saying anything else about this one yet, but it's percolating and I'm getting excited.


I also think it may be time to update this here blog so you can find patterns and information without scrolling down the sidebar about 200 yards, and have been planning for that as well. 

And laaaaaastly, I'm working on a few new things for the wholesale end of the business, and once those changes are in place and official, I'll let you all know how you'll be able to find my patterns in your local yarn shop from now on. 


So it's been a week without a lot of actual knitting.   Many of these decisions occupy the mind too much for any sitting still to happen, plus I find I cannot focus & "over-sticky" my stitch dictionaries when I am distracted.  And today is no exception.  Along with future planning comes organization - so Target is calling my name!  A new book and yarn system needs to be in place to hold all those things on the sofa, and my notebooks are full. 


But one decision this week was super easy.

What do you call a deep orangey-red pullover for late spring and early summer?


Cape Cod.

Coming out in late April, early May.  (And since I know you are wondering, that's Plucky Sweater in Karat Stix)


As for drinks this week?  My addled brain has stayed with the classics.   

Beer, Wine and  a little something on the rocks before bed.