Posts Tagged ‘shelter’

Unbroken bough

April 16, 2014

I’ve wanted for a long time to actually knit with Shelter from BrooklynTweed.  It’s my kind of yarn for a certain kind of knitting.  It’s ~ sheepy.  Some call it a little “crunchy.”  I don’t judge wool by its softness.  I find that an utterly subjective yardstick that’s rarely relevant in my world: I’m able to wear any kind of wool next to skin.

BrooklynTweed Shelter ~ Tent

BrooklynTweed Shelter ~ Tent

That said, I’m also stuck in the realm of accessory knitting for the present.  Too much happening around this Owl’s nest to dream of executing a garment.  And with a lot of my time spent at a construction site, I needed a second really warm hat since I kept misplacing my favorite Rosebud.

It was high time to pull out some Shelter in the colorway Tent (somewhere between the 1st and 2nd photos) and get it on the needles.  But which needles?  Frankly, I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time swatching for a hat.  I did the next best thing: I asked Jane about her experience with Shelter.  She indicated that it did relax with a bath, so she suggested that a US 7 needle and I’d be off and running.

I knew the pattern I wanted to make was Leila Raabe’s Bough.  Cables and texture for a nice woolly yarn, sure to keep my ears warm.  I did

Bough hat blocking

Bough hat blocking

spend some significant time searching the “Helpful notes” on the projects in Ravelry.  Several people indicated the hat was very large.  I do have a large noggin and a lot of hair.  But if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a hat that won’t. stay. on.  Hmmmm.   Time for some fiddling.

Some knitters indicated trouble with Shelter and breakage.  I had experienced that with Shelter’s skinny sister, Loft, but I knew how to work around that, cables or no cables.  (And no, I do not use a cable needle, just some nice slick Addi Turbo Rockets.)

Frankly, it worked up like a dream.  I used the Magic Loop technique and experienced neither breakage nor laddering.  The yarn performed perfectly.

Pattern:  Bough Cabled Hat & Cowl Set by Leila Raabe

Yarn:  1 sk BrooklynTweed Shelter in Tent ~ about 4 yards left without making pompom

Modifications:  C/O 91 stitches, then increased to 105.  Also added one row to the end of the pattern, using k2tog or p2tog as needed to close the hat more, as I did not intend to add a pompom.

See the tree?  Bough?  Get it?

See the tree? Bough? Get it?

Unblocked: Ribbing unstretched measured 15 inches

Blocked:  After soaking in lukewarm water and drying over an inverted vase (as you see here), ribbing relaxed to 19 inches unstretched.

Project marriage: 10  These were indeed made for each other.


Ciao 2011!

December 31, 2011

Putting up a new calendar will be something I truly relish.  2011 brought one significant and wonderful change to my household, but also some major life difficulties.  We made it through.  I mostly made it because of the friends who held me up when I didn’t think I could tread water anymore.  I am endlessly grateful.

With all of that unwanted drama, my knitting output declined significantly.  (So did my yarn purchasing.  I know you don’ t believe that, but it’s true.)  Still, I’m really proud of some of the things I did this year.  A complex

"Craft Activism"

There's my sweater! I knitted that!

sweater executed on tight deadline in 2010 is featured in Craft Activism.   I’ve never had my knitting published before.  Even better: Some very kind designers have seen my interpretations of their patterns online and took the time to say some terribly nice things.  That amazes me.  Good fodder for bad days.  Or for when I look at the numbers and feel like I may have underachieved compared to last year.  But each year is different from its predecessors.

Yarn used in 2011: 7619 yards = 1.4 miles

Finished objects:  17  ~ 2 hats, 2 sweaters, 2 cowls, 2 pair of mittens, 1 Christmas stocking and 8 shawls

One-skein projects: 10

Fibers first used this year: Romney and Finn   The former is pretty common in this neck of the woods, and I enjoyed getting to know it on the needles.  The Finn I used was actually a Finn/angora blend.  While I liked it, for purposes of the monthly Knitter’s Book of Wool wool-along, I learned that I prefer to use the straight stuff so as to have a real feel for the actual wool without the additional fiber that changes its characteristics.

WIPs /UFOs remaining: 14  shudder  Okay, to be fair: two of these are waiting to be blocked, a third needs some pictures taken, and a pair of mittens needs thumbs and a good simmer in vinegar to set the dye.   I have two (ancient) sweaters with identical yarn shortage issue that arose on the sleeves.  These need to have sleeves knitted in from the top down so they are of equal length.  I can do this – it will just take a little time.  And I will pick up another skill.  That will cut into the number.  I did frog a project, too.  That felt REALLY good.  I highly recommend it.

Designers I enjoyed:  Sivia Harding, SusannaIC, Gudrun Johnston, Ysolda Teague, Jared Flood

Favorite yarns I worked with this year:  Spirit Trail Fiberworks Nona, Sunna, Holda, Birte, Verdande.   Berocco Blackstone Tweed.  BrooklynTweed Loft ~ which I haven’t gotten on the needles yet, but know I will enjoy.  Interestingly, without a LYS to call my own, my yarn acquisition was almost exclusively a yarn club, travel/souvenir purchases and yarn/fiber festivals.

Priorities I had for the year:

  • Geodesic Cardigan – stalled temporarily
  • Grove mittens – check!
  • Holland cowl – check!
  • Woodruff mittens – More Jared Flood mittens coming soon in Shelter when I can decide on a colorway.  Yeah, I’m ummm, deciding on a colorway.  Because somehow there are more colorways at my house than there used to be.  (See favorite yarns above.)
  • Bristol’s Cowl – I’ll get there.  Really.  If nothing else, because more people have read my posts about Quince & Co. Chickadee than anything I’ve ever written here.  I can only imagine what happens when I write about Puffin.

Priority from 2010, finally achieved: I knitted a sweater for myself.  And I love it.  Still need some pictures and I’ll show you here soon, but it is done.  All it took was a major power outage and hours of knitting by candlelight.

Other things I’d like to do in 2012:

  • Play with beads:  I’ve started to mess with them in my lace.  They are fun.  Doubtless, they slow me down some, but a little can go a long way in making a piece into a show-stopper.
  • To frog or to finish:  Attack some of those very old WIPs.  We’ll see how that goes.  I have turned from owl to magpie when it comes to shiny new objects (read patterns/yarns) and my attention span may be devastated.

If I seem uninterested in goal-setting, it’s because I sometimes have to remind myself this really is my Zen thing.  My knitting is my own journey and I find it far more interesting to let it lead me wherever it wants to go, than to stick to a prescribed path on the map.  Because at the end of the year, I think it’s kind of fun to look at what I wrote and where I went instead.  It’s all about the trip.

Salut 2012!


November 9, 2011

I refuse to look at the calendar.  To do so would be to acknowledge that in one week, I must finish knitting a sweater, knock out some hats, make swatches for a class, pack things to destash, and get the other occupants of my household ready before I disappear for four delicious days of knitting with no other responsibilities.

LOFT - Barn Owl

In the meantime, I will plug my ears and shout, “LA LA LA LA LA!”  And let you feast your eyes on the contents of a package that arrived at my house long before the power crews.

This, my friends, is BrooklynTweed LOFT.  Colorway:  Barn Owl.

LOFT: Blanket Fort - how evocative

It is the long-anticipated skinny sister to SHELTER, 275 yards of woolen-spun American wool to each hank.   Picture a hank of Jamieson’s Shetland in fingering weight.  Then imagine it “foofed up.”  A skein of LOFT is about twice a poofy.  You DO want to squeeze the Charmin.

In the skein, LOFT reminds me very much of the Sweet Grass Targhee I used to make Grove mittens(also designed by BrooklynTweed/Jared Flood).  No wonder, since LOFT is made from

LOFT: Old World

Targhee and Columbia wool.  It has the same sort of natural stickiness, too, that lends itself to colorwork.  If you liked colorwork.  Or wanted to actually knit colorwork.

I purchased some accessory patterns so I can give LOFT a proper test-drive for myself.  In the meantime, I will point you to the Yarn Whisperer’s rapturous review.

Excuse me while I go back to compulsive list-making so I can actually get out of town …


May 20, 2011

If I were any farther behind in blogging (and everything else), I’d be able to see my own backside.  Apologies.

First, answers to the Blogiversary contest:

Most-read blog post of Year 2: My review of Quince & Co.’s Chickadee yarn outpaced every other post, including the Knitter’s Review Retreat.  No one got that one.

Most common Internet search term hit:  Shelter Button Jar – folks clearly looking for alternate photos of this green-blue/blue-green colorway in one of the most appreciated new yarns of the year.  No winning guesses there, either.

The Winners and the prizes: Lots of goodies to share with you for taking the time to write.  Any time one of you drops in for a read I feel like a friend has come by for a cuppa tea. Winners were drawn from a basket by a co-worker in a most unsophisticated traditional manner.

Cashmere for Jacqui

A reminder to owlways knit for Pat

Malone: A "crunchy" Cormo cross from Fox Hill Farm

Phlame: Welcome and enjoy Dirty Water DyeWorks Julia

KnittingKittens, this was NOT rigged. Foxfire 4 U.

Winners will all be notified via the email addresses you attached to your comments.

As this entry posts, I am on a wee trip out-of-state that involves a tiny bit of yarn-crawling in my “home away from home.”  Methinks a different time zone and some precious time alone will do a world of good. Of course, if I could quit obsessing about what travel project I should take, I would be using my time more efficiently.

I left behind one finished shawl on the wires; another is waiting on the runway.  Both involve some slightly different blocking techniques to achieve different ends.

I’ll talk to you soon, but for now, NutmegOwl must fly.

Absence explained

November 5, 2010

Could things just s-l-o-w down for a bit, pretty please?

Apologies for my absence.  To say it’s been a whirlwind pressure-cooker couple of weeks doesn’t begin to describe current events ’round here.  But with more on the horizon, if I don’t update now, it’s not going to happen.

SHELTER - Wool Socks

Stitches East came to my neighborhood last week, the second of its planned three years in Hartford.  As previously noted, it’s not an event I would travel to attend after a not-so-positive experience in the past.  Candidly, it’s not my crowd.  With few exceptions, noted in all that color at left.

For starters, Harrisville Designs, one of the handful of vendors with BrooklynTweed’s new SHELTER, was on hand.  Somehow, my nutmeg-loving soul got sucked into this color.  Can’t imagine how. It was also an opportunity to fill a few orders for my peeps to hand-deliver at the Knitter’s Review Retreat next week.

TSG Eidos in Charybdis

There was one vendor that made it worth the ticket price for admission: The Sanguine Gryphon.  I am not one with the time or inclination to engage in all the F5-F5-F5 online games to try to get my hands on it through the usual channels.  Their participation in Hartford allowed me to see it in person in all its glory.

And color-genius glory it certainly is.  A monitor fails to do justice to the perfect-clear-hot-red that is Charybdis in their Eidos sock yarn base.

Warning: virtual swoon imminent.

QED in Tagmata - 100% BFL

Then, they had to bring not one, but two bases in that glorious fiber that is BFL, or Bluefaced Leicester.  I’ve had a torrid affair with this fiber this year, so you’ll understand what I mean when I say that abstinence was not an option.  The QED has so much “sproing”

TSG Codex in Delirium

going on, I have the sense it’s going to bounce out of the skein.  On the other side of the spectrum, Codex, a blend of BFL and silk, just cries out to touch skin.  And this colorway – Delirium – well, I was sunk.  (Can you think of a more-apt colorway name?) At the moment, I am thinking that a Just Enough Ruffles might do it justice.

I shall just breeze by the others I could not keep my hot little hands away from.  No, I cannot explain how a semi-solid lover like me was smitten with the mix of blues and browns in Long-tailed Skipper.  Or the pure

TSG - Long-tailed Skipper in Bugga!

intensity of Karner’s Blue – both in the Merino/cashmere/nylon (aka MCN) known as Bugga! Nope, won’t even try.

Of course, all of this yarny exuberance was tempered 48 hours later as the reality of my cosmic sitcom kicked in with an

TSG - Bugga! in Karner's Blue

unexpected $2400 in necessary car repairs.

And elections of the nail-biter sort.

And the furious knitting of uber-soft hats to be donated to cancer patients as the unwritten price of admission to the upcoming Retreat.

And the culling of my yarnventory so things that I know I will not knit can have new homes through the magic that is the “Stash Lounge.”

And the finishing of some long-dormant projects that have sat, uncomplaining, waiting for attention for an embarrassing amount of time.

And the blocking of said FOs, with necessary photography to follow.

Somehow, you probably wouldn’t be surprised if all this was brought to a whiplashing halt by 48 hours of raging migraine.

I am vertical again.  Just in time.


October 7, 2010

I have always had an instinctive dislike for the “acquirers” out there.  You know, the people who go to an event like Rhinebeck with a wheeled suitcase, sharp elbows flying, complete disregard for the people around them in their mad dash to get their hands on X.

That’s not to say that there aren’t yarns out there that I have, and continue to covet.  But the F5-F5-F5 insanity involved in obtaining a special yarn is just not for me, and I get claustrophobic and really, really nasty in a real-life crowd of that ilk.

SHELTER - Button Jar

Thus, my complete surprise and wonder to have ferreted out SHELTER, the new yarn from Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed on the day of its release.  It was pure accident.

Pure, wonderful, serendipitous accident.

If you’ve been reading along with me, you know I’m part of a posse who have spent the year exploring the wonders of wool described in the Knitter’s Book of Wool.  Not just “wool,” but breed-specific wool.  If you’re not playing along at home, compare it to chocolate.  All chocolate is not alike.  If you prefer Vosges Red Fire to a Hershey’s Kiss, you get my drift.  Sometimes a Kiss will do.  But once you’ve had Red Fire …

Whoops. Digression over.

SHELTER is a blend of Columbia and Targhee, grown in America and spun in America.  Clara’s piece in Knitter’s Review today gives you the 4-1-1.

SHELTER - Thistle

My SHELTER arrived yesterday.  It is both spongy and doughy in the nicest sort of way.  It has substance and loft.  Looking at it up close, the blend of colors is genius.  Even its name says something to me ~ not surprising in the BrooklynTweed ethic.

As an unabashed wool-sniffer, I am with my cult leader in finding the scent of it a little out-of-kilter.  It’s certainly pleasant, but not the whiff of sheep that I expect and enjoy from my wool.  But that nitpicking aside, SHELTER is something really special.

The Button Jar will become a pair of Woodruff Mittens and probably a cowl, too.  Thistle, which is deeper and richer IRL, is a merry color.  It will become the Terra shawl.  It’s going to be a few days before I can cake it and cast on.

But I’m sooooooooooooooo glad I got there in time to put some in my own hands.  Just this once.  And I neither threw an elbow nor hit that refresh key, either.

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