As the weather warms up, I find myself busying my hands with smaller projects.  Sure there are always a few sweaters that accompany me through the long & sweltering East Coast Summer, but small projects are always happily embraced during this time of year.  Mittens, gloves, neckwarmers, hats -- those in-betweens that we sprinkle around our larger undertakings -- help me feel like I'm being conscientious in storing up for Fall & Winter.  They also bulk up the now-depleted pile of gifts, so that when another cold season comes (we'll wait patiently) there are plenty of woolies to dole out to friends and family. I've recently worked up a few accessory patterns that I'll be sharing here with you now as Spring becomes Summer.  Today we start with a pretty piece of lace that is designed with a nod to those special one-off skeins of luxury fiber that we all have stashed somewhere special, but often don't know what to do with. Ptarmigan is designed for sport-weight or light-dk-weight luxury yarns -- cashmere, yak, bison -- pick your poison.  I tend to be plagued by a too-little amount of yardage in many a beautiful (expensive) yarn.  Luxury fibers are pricey and sometimes only allow a single-skein-splurge, leaving us with very special yarns but all too often a roadblock in the way of pattern options.  It was with this in mind that I started knitting this little lacey number. If you're lucky enough to live in a cooler climate, this might still qualify as spring-wear (nudge to you, Pacific Northwesterners -- this is the time of year I start getting really homesick), although here in the city the heat and humidity are already poking small jabs at my own cold-weather biases. The neckwarmer is closer-fitting, rather than relaxed and slouchy, to keep those soft fibers nice and close to your skin, exactly where they should be!  Very light. Very warm. Gets the job done. The pattern requires approximately 175 yards of yarn, although instructions are included for extending the length in case you have extra yarn and a penchant for more voluminous, slouchy neckwear. By all means, use up every last yard! All the pattern specifics are listed on the Ptarmigan Pattern Page here at BT or over on Ravelry.  The buttons below will whisk you off to either location.

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I've had a few weeks at home, which has been an absolute luxury. I've gotten back into my own studio and have been exploring and experimenting with wool and stitch patterns, something I never tire of.  I love swatching -- it's the moment of possibility, and more often than not the moment of unexpected discovery.  Or to call it in a different way... your first date with your yarn. All nerves and thrill.

Things in the garden are growing and so it feels like the time of year to plant new ideas and regain productivity.  I hope you find some inspiration and motivation around you as we push forward in our creative work.  Happy Spring!


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