What a wonderful holiday Thanksgiving is – one of my very favorites. Slowing down, enjoying the coziness of home with food and family (in the broadest sense of the word).
We wanted to say thank you to all of our readers and customers for your continued support and friendship.
Wishing you a special day, no matter where your table is.
I love New Years. To me there’s always a strong feeling of the collective whole taking stock of where we’re at. It’s a time of gratitude and looking forward. It feels great.
It’s been another whirlwind year for us as our little company continues to grow and refine itself. Today we’re slowing down and enjoying the quiet.
We’re so looking forward to another year of new ideas, projects and challenges. A sincere thanks to all for reading, commenting, and supporting what we do here – we’re so grateful!
A very happy new year from BT Headquarters. Thank you all so much for your continued support and inspiration this year — I am so very grateful.
2010 has some exciting things in store for us and I’m looking forward to yet another year of woolly projects!
Wishing you the best for a new decade…
I was rummaging through my photos today, as I’ll often do when I’m seeking solace from stress (or when I’m just straight up procrastinating), and came across these pictures of the second version of the Montera Hat that I knit up at Christmas. After gifting this to a dear family friend, I completely forgot about the photos and hence forgot to share – good thing it didn’t quite get away from us!
When: Christmas Eve and surrounding hours, stuck in an airport due to snow storms.
Being on vacation allowed me to catch up on many things – one of which was photographing some of the projects that were able to sneak through the knitting gauntlet last year without ever being reported. Today’s hat, for example was knit in December and given as a Christmas gift, but never caught on camera. Until now. (No one is safe!)
Materials: Beaverslide McTaggart Tweed “Mountain Mahogany” & “Autumn Dogwood”
Amount: Less than one skein and a few yards of CC for half-double-crochet trim
Needles: US 9/5.5mm KP Options
Started and Finished: December 2007
I guess technically this could be called a companion piece to the Adult Tomten, as it was made with yarn leftovers, incorporates a healthy dose of garter stitch, uses virtually the same trim idea, and incorporates a straight-forward cleverness that I like a lot in patterns. One of many really solid patterns in Kirsten’s online oeuvre over at Through the Loops.
Thorpe is worked from the top down, starting with a circular cast-on and increasing regularly until the hat is the right size (the pattern offers three different sizes to choose from). Working hats from the top down, like working garments from the top down, has a lot of advantages built in, like being able to try-on as you go and tweak widths and lengths to be perfectly customized to the individual head size you’re hoping to cover.
The other thing I love about the top-down option is that it makes subbing different gauges very easy and organic. For example, I knit a dk-version last winter out of handspun, working the pattern as written but continuing increases until the size was right. I only slightly tweaked the placement of the earflaps to correspond to the new gauge – but that’s a simple adjustment.
The pattern is versatile too – male and female friends all want to wear it! I better get on making a couple more (did I mention the pattern also includes a colorwork version??)
As far as the yarn is concerned, I’m sure I’ve waxed poetic enough about this stuff in post upon post in the past. This particular version of the McTaggart Tweeds (the 2-ply yarns) are being phased out, unfortunately, but not to worry! A new, gorgeous version is being ushered in – the gauge is the same, and yes, those amazing color choices that make Leanne’s yarn stand far above the rest are all still there (see the photo in my previous post).
And speaking of hats – there are more coming. I have a few new hat patterns that are just about ready to be released here, so stay tuned. More wool. More cables. More knitting fun. See you soon!
I guess it’s never too late to share Christmas knitting, is it? As I promised before (this long silence), I’d show a few quick little knits that were distributed under the tree this year and now live far far away. Today’s hats both reside in Portland, Oregon where wool’s water-resistant qualities are highly appreciated.
Hat number two was a little stashbusting creation. I had about half a skein of both Silk Garden and Cascade 220, both in neutral shades, both begging to be married. So I put them together and got this.
I know I said that I would be sharing small, Christmas knits with you first… but I finished this last week and have been too excited to keep it under wraps any longer. Of all my knitting projects, this one has got to be up there in my all-time favorites (despite it being my own personal Everest for the last three months). So good in fact, it’s keeping me warm while I write – it’s cold out there!
The other beautiful thing about the Pi Shawl is its endless potential for individuality. Spend a little time trolling the web for completed Pi Shawls (there are hundreds) and you’ll see what I mean. The beauty of the pattern is it’s blank-canvas-like nature – consecutive rings of set stitch counts (144, 288, 576, etc.) which just beg you to plug in any old lace motif that’s giving you an itch.
And if you fear knitting with something so “delicate”, you can get rid of that idea straight away. The wool staple is longer than the distance between your needle and your fingers, so while knitting it feels just like any other yarn, and if it does break coming out of the skein (rarely happened, unaided by dogs or human feet) it’s no problem. The yarn sticks to itself like velcro – so to join a break just overlap about 2 inches on each end and knit right past it. That’s the other bonus – no ends to weave in, and no spit splicing necessary. It’s like knitting an 1800 yard cone – carefree and seamless. And to dispell any rumours, the knitted fabric is just as strong as any other yarn out there on the market.
Edited to Add: The following information has been added to the post in response to questions I’ve received via e-mail about this project. I hope they are helpful.
First, more specifics about the color of the wool. I received this yarn as a gift from a friend in Iceland. She purchased the yarn there in person. Schoolhouse Press does sell this yarn, but in a limited palette – which I should have mentioned earlier – and does not currently carry the color that I used.
The color of my wool is titled Sea Green Heather and listed as product #1422 on the Istex official color card – viewable here. You’ll notice they have a lot of wonderful colors! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
In researching, we think that the best bet for possibly acquiring this yarn by mail order would be the Handknitting Association of Iceland, but can’t say for sure. All of their contact information is available behind the link. NOTE: it seems that the colorcard listed on their site is an older version and sites Sea Green Heather as #9736.
Blocking: Yes, blocking was quite a challenge in our hardwood-floored, tiny apartment. I was hoping to be able to block the shawl on the queen-sized bed but realized very soon that this would not be possible. After some creative brainstorming, we tried a rather unconventional but nonetheless effective way of blocking – involving the box spring. The picture says it all.
And finally – a few of you asked if I worked with the unspun Icelandic wool single stranded or held it double stranded. I worked single stranded.
life has been crazy lately. dont fret… i’ve still been knitting fiercely. can’t remember a time when i wasn’t… but nevertheless.
i haven’t posted as much as i’ve planned recently, including pictures! (sorry – i know how annoying pictureless blogs are.)
i finished the malabrigo ear flap hat and have started another hat (cable cap) that i’m designing with my other hank of this blessed merino.
i hope everyone is knitting well… while i feel like i’ve been very productive over the last few weeks i still feel like i have a huge weight of holiday projects looming over my head. i hope i can get everything done before christmas!