Earthshine and a SALE

Progress on my Gust scarf is coming along nicely. I am about 30% complete. I never get tired of knitting this lace. It’s rhythmic simplicity is soothing and easy, but somehow not boring to knit. How does she do that?  This is my third time using it and that is rare for me. 

I love how this color-way is knitting up! The name Earthshine looks even more appropriate to me after seeing it in a fabric. I named the color-way for a Rush song from their 2002 album Vapor Trails, which is one of my favorites, both the album and the song. It was their first album after a long break in their work due to the tragic loss suffered by one of the band members. No one, including themselves knew if it would ever happen, and so this was a special album to me. Their music speaks to me and it would have been sorely missed if they hadn’t been able to continue. Here’s some more info about this song in particular where you can also listen to the track if you are curious.

"Earthshine"

On certain nights
When the angles are right
And the moon is a slender crescent

It’s circle shows
In a ghostly glow
Of earthly luminescence

Earthshine
A beacon in the night
I can raise my eyes to
Earthshine
Earthshine
A jewel out of reach
Form a dream to rise to
Earthshine

Floating high
In the evening sky
I see my faint reflection

Pale facsimile
Like what others see
When they look in my direction

Earthshine
Stretching out your hand
Full of starlit diamonds
Earthshine

Reflected light
To another’s sight
And the moon tells a lover’s story

My borrowed face
And my third hand grace
Only reflect your glory

You’re still out of reach
Form a dream to rise to
Earthshine

I see in the colors of this, the beautiful glow of the moon in contrast to the dark colors which create the shadows. The dark colors I use remind me of an evening sky.

Anyway, back to knitting. I am thinking about casting on another Classic Baby Cardigan in the smallest size. I have discontinued some of the colors I used to knit up the first ones and would like to use these colors to do something stripe-y maybe. It might need another color too, maybe some Azure?

Speaking of discontinued colors, did I mention that we have marked down 50% all the colors we will be ceasing production on this year? No? Well we have, and you can check them out on our Specials page while they last.

While you are there, we are having a SALE through March 7th on all our fingering weight sock yarns. For every skein of Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn and Classic Merino Bamboo yarn you buy, you can save $3 with the coupon code sockyarnsale .  The coupon will even apply in combination with our volume discount prices when you order three or more of a yarn in the same color. Carpe diem!

Cast your votes!

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First up today; progress on the Spiral Effect Cowl is coming along nicely. I am on the 6th out of 8 repeats, and then just the edging to go.  I can see finishing this in the next couple of days I hope. So, the pattern should be available very soon.

As soon as this is off the needles I am itching to make up a little lacy scarf using some Classic Merino Lace in my new color Earthshine. I dyed up a skein last week when I was testing the new solids. I am thinking I will do one of Anne Hanson’s Little Nothings scarves; probably a Gust since it works nicely with a variegated color-way and the one I knit before is in a color-way we have discontinued.

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Now speaking of the new colors; I have gotten quite a few great ideas for names from you and have narrowed it down to two choices for each color. So, just to refresh your memory here are the colors in several different base yarns.

First the green one:

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Does it look more like Green Tea?

cup-of-green-tea

or Peridot?

peridot cut

peridot rough

And here’s the orange one, which you will notice, looks even more varied on different yarn bases.

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The name choices are Tiger Lily or Nasturtium.

nasturtium.

nasturtium2

The top two are Nasturtiums and the one below is a Tiger Lily.

tiger-lily

I have devised a couple polls to get some feedback on the final choices. So cast your votes now. I will make a final decision and close the poll by my next post.

 

New designs to share

We had a warmer and sunnier day for the first time all week so we headed outside for a photo shoot of the new designs we have knit in my yarns. If you remember in my last post that I mentioned we have some new designs by my daughter Heather Alwood and you will find her patterns in our booth this coming year as well as  in her own Ravelry Store which is the official place to go if you prefer a download copy.

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I showed you a sneak peak of the Spiral Effect Cowl, which was still un-named at the time. She will have a download link for you as soon as I finish my test knit of the pattern and it is ready to be published. I have a few better pictures to show you now though. Spiral Effect.JPG

Like the Spiral Effect Cowl, the Summer Showers Shawl is made from one skein of Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn. She used the Winter Sky for this one.

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I like wearing it this way, like a scarf. But it’s sized nicely as a shawlette too.

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The Wings in Flight Shawl is also knit from the Superwash Sock but in the warm, French Marigold color.

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Again, this is my favorite way to wear this little shawlette. It’s perfect with a sweater for an accent, or to keep off the draft on a chilly day.

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The Ode to the Butterfly Shawl has a whole different feel to it. It is light weight and delicate, with exquisite detail. I love it so much in the Classic Merino Lace, which has the most wonderful softness and stitch definition. Well you will see for yourself in the close ups I took.

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She used 3 skeins of Damson Plum, which is a deeper, more saturated color than the photos show. It is notoriously hard to get this color to display accurately in digital imaging. The shade is right, but deeper. Ode to the Butterfly shawl.JPG

Another thing I love about this shawl is the way it hangs when worn. It perches just right about the shoulders without constantly feeling like it is sliding off. It’s similar to the way a Faroese shawl fits, but it’s a triangle. Ode to the Butterfly.JPG

It is warm and cuddly despite it’s delicate look.

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 See what I mean about the stitch definition?Ode to the Butterfly detail.JPG

The knitting is perfection too. I think she may be better than me, LOL!

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I am especially taken with the edging.

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Okay this post is rather long so I will save my knitting updates for my next one. Go buy some patterns and cast on a shawl!

It finally happened

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Can you believe this is for real? What a great Valentine’s Day present! I received my copy today and literally squealed. LOL!

When I saw the revision up for pre-order on Amazon in March 2011 I didn’t even hesitate to reserve my copy. Now for those of you who may not know the history, this was an out of print book which is so legendary that the originals were going on eBay for obscene prices. There were rumors for years of a revised edition being published but it never materialized. Knowing all this, I placed my order with hope it would happen this time but not holding my breath, if you know what I mean. Well, it is finally a reality. I am looking forward to spending the evening thumbing through the pages. I bet this will become my new go-to reference book, and a nice companion to my trusty copy of Vogue Knitting.

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Oh, look there! My Sweet Tea scarf is all done! I finished it in Pittsburgh. These loop scarves are certainly growing on me lately. I got it all washed up and blocked, but this is the best shot I could manage of it today. It was gray and drizzly all day.

I cast on last night for the matching Slouch Hat in hopes that it will work for me. Fingers crossed.

Speaking of bad weather and Pittsburgh…it did end up snowing all Saturday. Ugh! Am I the only one who thinks it is ironic that the ONE weekend I needed to be on the road during this mild and snow-free winter is the SAME weekend that winter decided to rear it’s ugly head? I think about 3-4” fell in Pittsburgh and it even snowed a little here in Nashville. It got VERY cold too, which was pretty miserable since we are not accustomed to it.

Despite all that we did have a lovely time at the festival, due to the good company and knitters who braved the elements to come out. Thank you!

We also decided to use the show to launch our new wholesale operation to any yarn shops who are interested in carrying our products. We are at this time accepting applications for new accounts on selected lines, which include all our hand dyed yarns and some of our tools. We aren’t quite ready for some of the tools to be available, but they may be in the somewhat near future. If you would like your local yarn shop to consider our products for their shop they can contact us for more details by email at catherine@knittingnotions.com

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Speaking of new; here is a sneak preview of a new designer whose patterns we will be carrying at festivals, who also happens to be my lovely and talented daughter, Heather Alwood of Alwood Design. This is a loop scarf that she designed using my Classic Merino Superwash Sock in the Malignant Narcissism color.  This arrived while I was in Pittsburgh and I love it so much that I wore it all day today. I will link you up and give you more details as soon as she has the pattern ready. I can’t wait to show you the other shawls she knit up for us, as soon as we get enough good light to do a proper photo shoot. They are so pretty!!

Okay that’s gonna have to tide you over for now. More details on my next post!

Almost Groundhog Day

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Well that was fun. No, really it was. Don’t let my attempt at artsy self portraiture led you to the conclusion that I am anything but thrilled with it. 2012 01 30_0281.JPG

It was so fun in fact that I cast on right away for another infinity scarf; Mindy Wilke’s Sweet Tea2012 01 30_0262.JPG

Actually I plan to make the Slouch hat to match since I bought the set when she had a sale running on her blog recently.  I knew it would be perfect in my Classic Merino Sport and my hope is that this hat will be wearable on my silly little pea-head. I know I will love the scarf at least. 2012 01 30_0258.JPG

Back to the Pei; I took a pre-blocked picture 2012 01 29_0290.JPG

but it didn’t change tremendously afterwards other than the design opening up more and the edges smoothing out. It also softened some, but it wasn’t scratchy to me to begin with. 2012 01 30_0243.JPG

I like this yarn quite a bit and would use it again without hesitation. It would be great for a light weight sweater for spring.  I can see this as fingerless gloves too since it doesn’t look like it will pill too easily. 2012 01 30_0245.JPG

Remember a little while back we were talking about winter blahs? With Groundhog Day only a few days away, I am betting for the prediction of an early spring. We have had a very mild winter here in Middle Tennessee, albeit on the wet and gray side. We have had some nice sunny days since my birthday and we have been taking opportunities to get outside and do some neglected chores like washing the trucks, 2012 01 30_0266.JPG

working in the shop, 2012 01 30_0287.JPG

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and enjoying the daffodils. 2012 01 30_0264_edited-1.JPG

Yes, they are up and blooming about 5 weeks early. I hope the poor dears don’t get a blast of winter, like usually tends to happen when they bloom this early. We usually see their sweet faces by the first of March, but late January is early even for here. Is it too optimistic to hope that winter is really gone? Probably. But that won’t stop me.

That’s Meredith up there working on the lathe. She has been making our Shawl Pins for going on six years now, and has this year taken over the Darning Egg and Nostepinne production as well.  darning-egg-collage-1-28-12.jpg

She just finished some new eggs and is working on more Nostepinnes for Pittsburgh. Pretty huh? Smile

I like the Change

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We just got our new banner back from the printer and I am very happy with it. I can’t wait to see how it looks hanging in our booth next month at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival in Pittsburgh, PA. 

We have been redesigning the labels too and the wood tools will have them now. The yarn inventory will need to be transitioned over to the new labels. As much as I would love to do it all at once for consistency, it doesn’t make sense economically. It would be a big waste to just toss thousands of the old labels not to mention time consuming to do it, and there is also the dye lot marking to contend with. Sigh. So my pretty new yarn labels will be a bit slower at making their public appearance.

I spent the last several days doing some year end business bookkeeping stuff and taxes. Yes, I have already done my federal income tax return. I finished that up this morning using TurboTax online and e-filed it. I am glad to have that behind me. Whew! It’s a big job, but I learned early on that keeping good, organized records really helps and is worth the time spent. I try to tackle my file of receipts and expenses at least once or twice a month. Keeping the job to small bits on a regular basis is my key to not being overwhelmed by it. What happens with me is that if I let a job get too big, I procrastinate about dealing with it, which of course just makes it snowball into a bigger and bigger pile which I avoid even more. See where this is going? I have to keep myself disciplined or I lose it. Smile

I don’t have any knitting to share today. I have been working on finishing my socks which only have the last cuff to go. I may get them finished tonight or tomorrow.

 

Just because life is good, doesn’t mean it’s perfect

I know it’s been quiet around here since Thanksgiving, sorry about that. I have been dealing with a kidney stone since the Sunday after Thanksgiving but hopefully it will soon pass. I have never had one before and can’t understand how I got it either. I looked up the risks and reasons for them and I don’t fall into any of them other than the fact that my father has had them. I am a poster child for drinking 2 quarts of water a day. It’s a habit that my midwife instilled in me 18 years ago and I always have water. Always. It makes no sense. I kind of wonder about the diagnosis, except that after a trip to the ER where they performed a CT scan which identified a 4.5mm stone and that most of the symptoms fit. But anyway, that’s part of the reason for my absence.  I just hope it passes before the painkillers run out. I am taking them sparingly as needed, since the discomfort comes and goes.  I really hate go to the doctor. Ugh.

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Another reason is the dreary weather which makes for a lack of good picture taking. I have taken a few this morning but they aren’t the greatest. I have done some knitting and actually completed a set of Knucks for Joanie. I love this pattern! This is my third pair and could see making more. They are quick, fun to make, an interesting construction, and most of all practical to wear. These are the ones I reach for most of the time when it’s chilly enough to need something warm for my hands.

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I have started two other small things, a Fartlek in some leftover Classic Merino Sport which will be for Elijah if it fits and for me if it’s too big for him right now. I never wear hats because I have a ridiculously small head and they look equally ridiculous on me, IMO, but there are times when I simply must get over it and wear one. I think this might possibly work on me. We’ll see.

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The other project I started is a simple toe-up sock, plain vanilla probably. I haven’t decided for sure yet. It’s in the other skein of Socks That Rock lightweight I bought at Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair this summer. This are definitely for me.

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Remember the Sprossling? Yeah, It’s in time out. Humpf. Okay it’s really my fault. I made the stupidest mistake ever, which I am avoiding fixing by the rash of startitis. It’s actually an easy enough mistake to correct, but I was so annoyed with myself for making it that I just did what any knitter would do in this situation…bury in in the depths of my knitting bag until I can face it again. Heh. Can you spot the glaring problem here?

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Yeah, cardigans generally need the fronts to be mirror images, no? I have two left fronts. Argh. It could be worse I guess. I might have knit the whole bloody thing before I saw it. See, I am ever the optimist, even when I am ticked at myself. Heh.

Oh, one other thing I want to mention is that we are having a Holiday Giveaway over on the business Facebook page.  Go on over and leave a comment on the thread for a chance to win a skein of yarn. It’s our little way of giving back to all of our fans and supporters. We would appreciate if you would Like our page while you are there too!

In closing I leave you with this picture of holiday cheer.

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Fiber in the ‘Boro

I finally found a piece of time to write up a blog post and show you all the fun we had in Murfreesboro this past weekend. I have been working on a complete overhaul of the website as well as other tasks since my last entry, on top of spending some of Friday and all of Saturday at the booth. Since I already showed you some pictures of the booth on Friday night, I will show you what the children took while they were hanging out for the day with me.

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I guess this is how I look when I am doing my thing. LOL!

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Someone’s view of yarn from the bleachers behind the booth.

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This one was just too sweet. Awwww

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This needs no explanation, it’s just quintessential Elijah at his cutest.

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Classic Emma behavior here. She is quite a ham for the camera.

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Despite the strange look captured in this picture, she was over the moon to be in such close proximity with all the animals.

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She is an animal fanatic of the highest order.

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I thing this was the highlight of the day when the animal owners allowed her to go inside the pen with the llama. If it had been a horse I am fairly certain we would have had one less daughter after that. She probably would have stowed away in their horse trailer, LOL!

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There was a pond out in the front of the venue where the apparently spent a lot of time.

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It was sunny but cool on Saturday, which is pretty nice for pond exploring. Less bugs at least.

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This is my oldest son, Josiah, who must have been especially photogenic that day because there are sure a lot of pictures with him in them. Smile

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Kyla, Joanie, and Josiah poised on hay bales..for…some…reason..?

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Reminds me of an album cover picture or something, LOL!

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Pretty shot of the pond

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Okay it’s late and I need to close for now. Oh, I did finish the sweater sleeve and started the body last night so maybe more knitting to report soon.

Which do you want first? Good news or bad?

Hi Everyone,

As you have probably heard by now from other dyers, the cost of cotton and wool has risen dramatically and recently significant increases by our supplier have made it necessary for us to raise our prices as well. We have not had to raise our prices for at least three years, and normally I would not even make any announcements about it, but I have worked out a way to ease the transition a bit.

We are hoping that by giving a volume discount on orders of three or more of any yarn, not already discounted, we can absorb some of the cost and hold down prices at or a little below our previous prices. So, in other words, if you are ordering at least three of a kind you can still pay at or below the old price.

The only exception is on the Organic Cotton in the Vanilla. We aren’t raising the price on the remaining stock of Latte and Pebble at all. We can’t re-purchase these colors and so will just sell it at the old price until stock runs out. We are offering the volume discount on the Vanilla Organic Cotton, but it isn’t quite as low as our old price since the price on the cotton rose much more than the wool in comparison.

So in summary, the bad news is unavoidable price increases; but the good news is the volume discounts which we hope will ease the impact for all of us.

Okay now that that is out of the way, how about some knitting content? I don’t have much to show you but I am on the cuff of my first Van Dyke sock in the Socks That Rock.

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Oh, I don’t remember if I told you that I was reading The Help. Everyone is reading it so I got on the library list for it in eBook format, and my number finally came up a couple weeks ago. Now I know why it is so popular. I enjoyed this a lot. I really loved the characters, well expect for Hilly and Elizabeth, who you aren’t supposed to like anyway. They are the antagonists after all. Winking smile I was drawn into the lives of the heroines. I liked the authors style of having the alternating speakers. It is around 400 pages and a very chatty and easy read, but at the same time the subject matter is very deep. Check it out!

Okay that’s it for now. Have a wonderful Sunday!