Swatching does a funny thing to your productivity – you know you’re knitting a ton but feel like you have very little output. I really enjoy swatching, though — it’s the best way to really get to know a yarn, and I find that design ideas almost always reveal and shape themselves in a major way during that period. To me, the material makes a design, so swatching is a bit of a brainstorming session. Or maybe like a first date.

I’ve been doing a lot of swatching these past couple of weeks.

Hap Swatching

The Tweed Baby Blanket got me really hungry for a true Hap Shawl knitting experience with traditional yarns – so when I pulled out my burgeoning Shetland Stash and started pairing color groups, I really got into it. Shetland, with it’s unbeatable palette, lets me indulge my love of tonal color relationships. That, and my fixation on natural sheep colors and their endless combinations.

Shetland Browns

There are also mitten designs being worked on – lots of colorowork around here. I just can’t ever seem to shake that bug.

And a very special arrival came this week from Portland…

Shibui Kits

A gorgeous treasure trove of Shibui Sock — sent as a collaboration between the folks at Shibui and my sister-in-law (they’re practically neighbors) — kits and colors chosen by the Baby Mama herself. And let me tell ya, she has great taste — I’m certainly not complaining about these choices!

Shibui Oasis
I’ve already started knitting a pair of baby leggings with the golden colorway – I hardly ever knit with real SOCK yarn – so I’m enjoying the change of scenery for these. And they’ll be machine-washable too – something I can rarely say about my knitting. Good for new babies (or new parents, rather) for sure.

Tonight I fly to the West Coast – for a little work and a little play. I have a photoshoot in Seattle over the next few days then am taking some time with my family before a quick trip to SoCal for a short but real-and-true VACATION. I’ve packed knitting that satisfies needs across the board from the simple stockinette longies to fingering weight colorwork. That’s what I call travel security.