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Mother Nature Herself Needs a Sweater October 18, 2011

Up in the Northern Mitten, it’s been sliding right into Fall with a bang!

After a few balmy days reminiscent of summer, the rains came and with them, the winds.

Here in Tustin, the colors of Fall are still with us, but now are shared as much on the ground as on the limbs of the trees.

Evenings are markedly colder after sunset – and the perfect thing to work on is something made from wool.

This is my current *lap blanket*. :)

Chic Knits Velynda

It is the Velynda sweater I started a few weeks ago and it’s been growing in leaps and bounds. The Body is finished now and I’m ready to make the first sleeve.

Delicious! This is such an organic green you can almost eat it. It is dark; it is heathered. It is mulespun yarn from Cottage Craft Woolens, located in New Brunswick, St. Andrews by-the-Sea, Canada and they called this: “Kelp Green”.

I love it.

In the beginning, since it is a heartier wool, I was almost tempted to wash the skeins before I started knitting with the yarn, before I wound it into balls. Since it has been deep stashed for a Long Time, it is not as supple as I know it can be. But I chose to use it as is because the washed swatch showed a beautiful bloomed fabric – even and uniformly fluffy. If the yarn was pre-washed, evenness might suffer and make a bumpier surface.

Chic Knits Velynda

But as you can see, this is knitting up into a beautiful fabric, with popping cables, and a wonderful color depth.

It is even more rich than above – with both slight darker and lighter parts of the strands of yarn themselves.

And the structure of the yarn itself guarantees a long and happy wearing sweater for many years to come.

When I decided to cast on for this, I had some black yarn picked out, because, who, after all does not need another black sweater? This yarn was in the same box with the black and it was so dark, it was much more neutral than any green I’d ever seen.

Why not a change? I took a couple skeins of yarn and parked them on a load of colored t-shirts fresh from the laundry and they went with them all: teal, dark persimmon, chocolate brown, tan heather, kelly green…

And not surprisingly, it looks most fabulous over all black — can’t wait to wear this over a black T, black skirt, black tights, black boots combo…

Monday Morning Mirth October 17, 2011

Monday Morning Mirth

While I’m up in the northern Mitten, I’ve been routing around the house and came upon these three beauties.

Presenting, from 1962, a little trio of caps from a spread called “Three Cheers for Wool Hats!” by Coats and Clark.

From l. to r.: the Robin Hood Hat (with lovely oversized mondo sequins), Knitted Turban (trimmed with a lovely pin?), and the Bubble Hat (flatters *almost* anyone, according to the copy)…

Don’t be surprised if you spy one of these toppers on me tops this fall – but which one should I try?

Going to the Woods October 4, 2011

My head is spinning right now.

I just figured out how to use my iPhone as a hotspot for WiFi. Woo the Hoo! ;p

Why is this such a tickle me elmo?

Because I’m going on the road.

And I’m going to have an internet connection in the hinterlands…

Nope, no Rhineback this year; for the next few weeks, I’m going to be with my Mom in Northern Lower Michigan! She’ll be recovering from some surgery and I’m going to be her wingman until she’s got some mobility back.

So I’m busy putting my road-kit together: my old Mac Intel Mini, small monitor, Wacom tab and lots of design files to crunch and massage, yarn, needles, small camera, card reader and lot’s of warm clothes.

And here’s where the fun starts!

Trying to put together a road show of sweaters to take with me is just ludicrous!

During this time of year, I’m unnaturally attached to my closet full of knitwear in a most embarrassing way. I sort it, I fold it, I wash it, and basically play with a collection that’s grown over the years to take up a whole armoire (that’s cotton AND wool, though ;p).

Winnowing it down to a few to take on a trip is pretty hilarious because I Want To Take Them All.

BTW, this is an adjunct to the way I *pack* shoes for a trip as well, often ending up with a pile that would require a dedicated suitcase if taken. Reaching that point usually brings me to my senses but not always…

So, I tried to fool myself and started early this time plumping and washing a bunch of sweaters and this is what ended up being the Final Six:

Chic Knits Hand Knitting Patterns

Or maybe 5, because I’m thinking the grey one can be left home…

I need a big woolie one to hunker down in during the evening hours or walking down to the tiny ‘lil Post Office in the early AM to get the mail. So there’s my original Mrs. CB’s Camp Jacket (that I re-animated) going along to do utility duty In Style.

Then, next from left, my newish girlish post modern retro number – the Turquoise cardigan with Red Buttons. Maybe we’ll have visitors and I’ll need to dress for dinner.

Skipping the grey one because I’m seeing now it should be left In the City (just my intuition), there’s my new FO, the yellow-green Jo Sharp DK (color: MAPLE) sweater that was finished during the Sleeve Workshop at YarnCon (waves to all the wonderful folks who joined me there! It was so exciting for me to demonstrate the magic of the Sleeve Cap that day!). But of course, I ended up with a new sweater even though it took a few years (5) to finish. Which ended up being a rather good thing, since it now is completely different (better) than how I originally envisioned it.

Can’t leave town without my BFF, my huggable Mondo Cable Pulli in Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed. It is just the thing to watch all those Masterpiece Theater episodes (DOWNTON here I come! I got Wi the Fi and can stream you! In the middle of nowhere!)

And last but not least is my Deep Woods Barn Yarn Scoop du Jour, which always goes to Tustin this time of year.

It was made for those walks in the woods with the dogs and I’m hoping I see these colors again while I wander.

That tree’s still there, by a little pond on a lonely road.

And I’ll be there soon…

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