Ready for Fall Knitting!

Hi, Knitters,

My knitting mojo is back. It’s finally September!!! That means it’s real knitting season, even if it’s 90 degrees outside right now.

Monet
Monet

Of course, we’re all really excited about the new Impressionist Yarns, which is a new technique we’ve been developing this summer to unveil this fall! One of my Assistant Dyers, Erin, told me about a dyeing technique she had tried on fabric; we tried it on yarn, then ended up using a completely different approach to get a similar effect. The final product is a gradient with pops of exciting colors throughout. It’s exciting to knit because you never know what color the next stitch will be!

So I grabbed one of our first prototypes and started knitting up a scarf; I thought that Seed Stitch would be a fun way to make a reversible fabric with the Impressionist yarn.

Renoir Scarf
Renoir Scarf

This became the Renoir Scarf we released along with the new colors last week. It’s an easy free, reversible pattern to make the most of this or any of your favorite DK-weight yarn. This one that I kntted was in the shop for about two days, then my 92-year-old grandma came for a visit. She admired the scarf, so I gave it to her! My grandma loves color, so I knew it would be a perfect fit.

the lovely Emily
the lovely Emily

Here’s the Renoir Scarf modeled by our other Assistant Dyer, Emily! Both of our Assistant Dyers are in the Textile Design program at the UW and plan to complete their studies at the Fashion Institute of Design in New York. We’re very proud of them; watch out, fashion industry!

Cassatt
Cassatt

Each of the Impressionist yarns is unique, but they all follow a general gradient pattern. This soft colorway was named for one of my favorite Impressionists, Mary Cassatt. Her paintings of intimate moments between mothers and daughters were pretty groundbreaking at the time.

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I knew we had a kind of quiet, recover-from-the-first-week-of-school weekend planned, so I took a Gauguin colorway to make another scarf. I’ve never been so excited about Seed Stitch! I feel like I could keep on knitting these scarves until the kids head off to college!IMG_4080[1]

Progress so far….

As it turned out, Lil Buddy has been down with a fever all weekend and I spilled hot coffee on my leg, creating a pretty exciting swollen, red knee, so I’ve gotten a little more down time to knit than we anticipated. He seems to have more energy today, so that’s a relief. Moral of the story: always have your knitting ready!

Hope you’re all having a good weekend and staying cool,

Jaala

Treasure Hunt Winners!

What a blast! It was so much fun to get to partner with Michelle, Jill and Katie for this lovely giveaway event. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who tracked down the clues, entered the giveaway and made such nice comments in your entry emails. I wish we could give you all prizes!

All winners have been notified about their prizes, and the winners were chosen by Random Number Generator.

Drum roll, please!

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Jen B takes home a generous array of gifts from Knitterella.

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A three-skein Spring in Central Park shawl kit fresh off the presses from Michelle Miller of Fickle Knitter goes to: Sarah McF

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Gradient-dyed sock set, shawl kit and e-books from Knitcircus Yarns. My winners: Corrina Shawl kit: Kathy C. Matching Socks set: Gretchen F. 7 Hats and Cowls e-books:Natalie K from Ravelry, DANA M, Dawn S, Abigail S, Jessie D, Martha G and Mary S

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A Sock Yarn Sampler and two Sock Patterns from Yarn Love for Kathlyn R.

Thanks again so much to everyone who was part of this; it was such a good time, we’ll definitely do it again.

Happy Wednesday,

Jaala

Friday Fiber: Knitcircus Yarns Giveaway!

ImageIt’s time for some cheer!

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With so much rain (and little bits of snow) and so many unsettling events, it’s time for a little fibery uplift.

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This weekend, I’ll be hosting a giveaway for any yarn in the Knitcircus Yarns shop; just leave a message with one thing you are grateful for/that makes you happy/act of kindness you have recently done or heard about. Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, paying for the coffee of the customer behind you, the smell of a cherry tomato just picked from the vine, a vibrant turquoise color, a loved one recovering from a concussion, the feeling of waking up on a summer morning with no big plans….please share so that we can all remember the good, kind, beautiful things of life. The winner will also get to pick a yarn for a randomly-chosen knitter on Ravelry who lists Boston as home.

 

Two runners-up will both receive a pdf of my e-book, Knitting Recipes: Hats and Cowls.

Stay safe, stay dry, and enjoy your loved ones and your knitting this weekend,

Jaala

 

Fiber Friday: Variegated Yarn and Knitted Farm Animals WInner

Fiber Friday posts are something I’ve always loved to read (and when I say read, I mean, drool over pretty yarn pictures) so let’s join in the fun!

First, we have a lucky winner to announce:

the Knitted Farm Animals book goes to Diane! (She’s been notified).

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Now for some fun yarn pictures!

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This week, I experimented with high-contrast colors in the same skein. The ones pictured combine some of my favorite deep oranges, cheerful yellows, sky blue and tropical sea blue. 

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What do you think? Cheerful, spirit-lifting, a little too over the top?

Have an excellent weekend,

Jaala

 

 

 

 

Yarns Afoot

It’s been a couple of weeks now since the kids and I cleaned up the basement room with our washer and dryer and created the Evil Lair. It’s really a dyeing studio, but Belle began calling it an evil lair because of its underground nature, and the name stuck.

Every morning, as soon as we wake up, the kids have joined me in the coolness of the Lair to experiment with colors and bases. When we’ve got something new hanging up to dry, we head up for breakfast.

It really all comes down to my love of stripes. At TNNA, I was captivated, as always, by the lovely Freia Fibers handpaints, and by a shawl in Baah Yarn’s booth which began with sunshine yellow and moved to blue over the length of a shawl. Unfortunately, Baah studios yarn isn’t available in Wisconsin, and Freia has a wonderful, but limited, color palette. I started dreaming about what colors I’d create for a long-striping color change yarn.

Of course, creating a long-striping color change yarn isn’t exactly easy, either to conceive or to execute. It was only after enlisting my husband (programmer) and my dad (furniture maker) to consult on the matter that we figured it out.

Once we had the theory, time to refine the practice.

Every day I try out new color combinations, new yarn bases.

Just want to make it clear; I’m making my own yarn, yes, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be working with other yarns! We’ll still be talking about new indy and bigger company’s offerings on the Knitcircus Newsletter and blog, and will be using a wide variety of fibers in Knitcircus books and collections. Just like the wonderful Katie, from Yarn Love, said to me once, making your own yarn doesn’t mean you stop loving everyone else’s; in fact, you appreciate it more, because you understand what went into creating it.

I’m still working on developing the best core colors and thinking about seasonal ones….what do you think? What colors would you like to see and knit with? Please let me know! More info coming…I anticipate having yarn available at the Sow’s Ear event August 25th for you locals, and on Etsy the first week of September.

Knitalong Hopping Right Along

zbyszkoknits finished her Balm to the Soul shawlette in just one day! A number of amazing knitters have already posted finished photos by this morning; it’s so exciting to see people’s yarn and photos of their works-in-progress, too.

Still plenty of time to join in the stashbusting…I love how pretty much everyone in this KAL has shopped their stashes.

Sport Sock Update

It’s growing slowly; hope to have a pair by the end of Fall Ball! This one’s ready for sime ribbing. I’m going to use this tutorial for an invisible, stretchy bind-off from crankygrrrrrl.

Belle’s Yarn

Belle’s yarn from our dyeing class makes such a pretty yarnball! She’s graciously allowing me to knit something out of it for her (more on that later; hint: it’s a free pattern in the works!)

It’s winding up to be a sticky, hot day here; hope you all keep cool.

Jaala

Knitting Recipes Winner and Sock Update

Winners

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the Knitting Recipes: Hats and Cowls giveaway! Thanks to the wonderful Fickleknitter for partnering up with Knitcircus for that contest.

The winner, Laura, has been notified.The three runners-up, Janet, Monica of Sweetpurls blog, and Rinebird, have also been notified.

Book Cover

I’m so excited: Graphics maven Anneliese just sent me a draft cover of the book!

Woot!

Sport Socks

In sock knitting news, it’s been a while since I’ve posted an update on the Sports Socks: suffice to say, I’m no Yarn Harlot for speed. Those games were nailbiters; I had to look up a lot!

I love the way the Sweetgeorgia Tough Love  in Maple yarn (scroll to the bottom of the SG color page to see it) is working up; it changes colors often enough to keep it interesting, but not so much that it’s crazy. There’s some pooling, but I’m not worried about it at all, since when it’s worn, you’ll only see the top half of the foot. For this sock, I’ve used a Turkish cast-on and short-row heel.

This part of the sock was brought to you by two soccer matches, two baseball games and a softball game. Watch for sock updates hopefully every Monday!

Have a good one,

Jaala