Friday Anew

Here's my Friday Anew.  There are two reasons why I absolutely love love love this sweater.  First is the yarn.  Blend No. 1 (batch 1) is Ysolda Teague's first venture into yarn manufacturing.  I hopped on it right away because I know that special edition yarns like this sell out quickly, often in the first hour.  This did sell out quickly, but she has made subsequent batches of the same blend, and of this posting, it's available.  

I've met Ysolda a few times at knit conventions and she is an absolutely adorable little sprite with a contagious enthusiasm and love for knitting and all things fiber.  When I read that she had collaborated with John Arbor to come up with a yarn, I imagined it would be nothing short of fantastic.  It is.  It's an undyed blend of Merino (50%), Polwarth (40%), Zwartbles (10%).  This yarn is so soft, who needs cashmere.  The wool is grown in the UK and milled by John Arbor Textiles in Exmoor.  In the hand it feels full and round and behaves like a champ with each stitch cozying up to the next with a little hint of bloom to fill in any holes or spaces.  The fabric is dense and feels quite warm.  I already said it's soft, but I'm not particularly sensitive to wool, thank heavens, and only the most unlucky would find Ysolda's yarn uncomfortable.  I used a size 5 needle and got 22 sts. to the inch.  It's a good value too, with 344 yards in a 100 gr. skein.

The pattern is perfection. I love knitting contiguous sleeves, and although this is only my second time doing that, I'm a total convert.  Ankestrick's patterns are often, like this one, pretty simple, relying on fit and small details that let your very gorgeous yarn take center stage.   Besides the contiguous sleeve technique (and so of course being knit top-down and in-the-round) it has a faux slip-stitch seam that runs down the front, sides and arms; just a teensy bit of detail that I love.  Her patterns are all well written and easy to follow. The sweater is meant to be worn oversized with several inches of positive ease, and even though I knit the smallest size and made back darts and waist shaping, I feel that I could have adjusted the pattern to make smaller, but then again, I do like the look and feel of positive ease, so I'm quite happy.  

I'm my husband's nightmare when I ask him to photograph me in my sweaters.  I insist on dozens of photographs and I'm unhappy with every one.  He really dreads those photo sessions, and so do I.  He went off to play golf today so I thought on this very sunny but chilly day I would let my computer be my photographer.  The pictures never come out all that well, and I still do complain plenty, but at least the computer doesn't threaten to quit! 

My Ravelry project page
Friday Anew by Ankestrick
Blend No. 1 by Ysolda Teague

If you'd like to make a comment, please click here.


free patterns for Vintage Kidsilk Haze

There's a new yarn in town, Rowan Vintage Kidsilk Haze.  Vintage is similar to KSH in almost every way: same content--70% kid mohair/30% silk, and same yardage--229 yards, however Vintage stands out with it's more prominent white silk core that when knitted, has an antique, vintagy look.  It's really quite beautiful.  KSH is one of Rowan's core yarns and is always at the tip-top of my yarn favs list so seeing this reincarnation made me very happy.  As with all Rowan Selects yarns, Vintage comes with a small bundle of free supporting patterns.  The patterns are timeless and elegant; the very best way to showcase this very special yarn. The patterns are available for instant free download on Ravelry!  YAY! Of course, all the patterns above can be knit with the original KSH, my favorite yarn to knit and wear.  Enjoy!

Instantly download the free patterns here.

 KSH Vintage is being shipped to your local store today.

To make a comment, please click here.


vintage octoberfest

I want to share some photos from a party we attended last Saturday--our dear friend Karen's annual Octoberfest.  This has always been an outdoor party and in the 25 years she has been hosting this much-loved party, rain has never fallen on Octoberfestday.  Until Saturday.  Rain was forecast for the entire weekend and boy, did it came down.  Not that a soul in California would ever complain about rain, mind you.  Karen's house was beautiful and inviting with fires lit in every fireplace, but in October, rain or no, we are not quite ready to give up our outdoor living.  So instead we clustered under the eaves and marveled at actual water falling from the skies. 

One thing is certain, Karen loves to have her friends over and goes out of her way to make it special.  Everything was perfect for the evening with twinkling lights and candlelight, warty pumpkins, good friends, welcome rain, and delicious homemade food.  Life is good.

Octoberfest Menu

Wine and Beer
Assorted Cheeses and Nuts

Assorted Grilled Sausages with a variety of Mustards
Green Salad
Hot German Potato Salad

Apple Strudel

At the party I was chatting with a group of girlfriends who were all wearing sweaters.  With big winks, they all made a big point of asking each other if they had knit their sweaters--but no one asked me.  Very funny, girls!

And since I'm on the subject of sweaters--I finished my sweater using Ysolda's Blend One, Batch One.  Heaven!  I hope to share it soon, plus a few more I've finished.

If you'd like to make a comment, please click here.


bits of fall

This month we are having two groups of out of town guests to stay and next month we'll be hosting a small party.  Since I get the heebie jeebies over most Halloween decorations, this time of year I avoid all that and try to make my home look more cozy instead of scary.  I brought out the vintage wooden Coca Cola crate/wagon and kitted it up with some pumpkins and pine cones.  I then pulled out anything that looked even slightly fallish--my peculiar bright orange tray, some stone pheasants, and my much loved (beat up) verdigris leaf platter.  I'm so happy with my pretty pumpkins.  It's terrific that non-traditional pumpkins are so easy to find these days. It wasn't that long ago that anything like a Cinderella pumpkin in a pale shade of burnished copper could only be found for big bucks at farm stands or specialty markets. I bought those beautiful pumpkins at my local supermarket!

The bright orange tray above is from ibride.
If you'd like to leave a comment, please click here.