Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another New Yarn

Stephanie wrote:

Sock Summit is fast approaching. While our inventory shipped last week, we are still busy - knitting samples, filling orders, preparing our summer sock club for shipment.

The designer for our summer sock is Shelagh Smith of Vermont Designs by Shelagh. The summer installment features Twinkle Toes in a cheery colorway and a pattern reminiscent of the season. It's not too late to order the summer kit. You can find it here.

In the midst of all this craziness I've been sampling another new yarn. This is Alpaca Sox - a blend of 60% superwash merino, 25% alpaca, 15% nylon. Sorry there isn't a link - it will be on our website soon.

We had this custom spun by the same mill that spun our Bunny Sox. Alpaca Sox has a nice hand, and the merino content insures elasticity.

We decided to give Alpaca Sox a test run on a fingerless mitt.

This wee bit of cuff is the beginning of Orchid Lace Mitts by Anne Hanson.

Alpaca Sox takes the dye beautifully and provides wonderful variation. The color contrast adds some depth but doesn't detract from the lace pattern. I've also been eyeing a couple of scarf patterns for this yarn. I think Alpaca Sox will prove to be very versatile.

Alpaca Sox, along with Bunny Sox, will be available at Sock Summit.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Portland Or Bust

Stephanie wrote:

Our preparations for Sock Summit have been underway for weeks. There are so many decisions to make - what to take, how much to take, how to display everything. This event has definitely taken the level of chaos up a notch or two. While we have done a big convention center event before, we've never had to ship our inventory.

This week was a countdown to get everything ready for shipping. Yarn was dyed and dry, skeins were wound.

Lists, labels and more lists.

Counting and re-counting because someone had the nerve to talk to me when I was clearly focused and counting out loud. Checking my numbers against a master list. Discovering my numbers were off. Counting again.

I had flash backs to the many moves my household has made over the years. Box space is always tight when you finally get down to the last items. You've gathered boxes, saved boxes - surely there will be enough room for everything. But in the end you're forced to rearrange and cram things in. It's all a big puzzle. If you take this out, it will make room for that. And then you can put this here, but first you have to move that. And so it goes - on and on.

Finally, boxes filled and ready to go. We had several stacks like this.

And then, just like that, it's all gone. Whisked away to meet us on the other side of the country.

Now Mona and I have a few precious days to tie up loose ends (a sock club shipment among other things). And then it will be time for us, too, to be whisked away.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Morning Routine

Stephanie wrote:

Mornings are my time. I'm up early, enjoy my coffee and get as much work done as possible before the rest of the household rouses. Recently we've made an adjustment to that schedule - the kids and I take a morning hike at a nearby reservation.

I don't get everyone up at the crack of dawn so I still have some morning time to myself. But the hikes have cut into my work time which means more juggling throughout the day.

Our hikes have been fun, creative, educational and entertaining. And there's been a bonus.

Blueberries. Loads and loads of blueberries. I've heard from others who have picked here for many years that the berries have never been so plentiful. This must be nature's compensation for a cool, wet June.

Mostly blueberries with a few random berries mixed in. We've been enjoying blueberries in pie, cobbler, muffins, pancakes - with plenty left over for the freezer.

The dye pots are keeping me busy so knitting time is scarce. When I do have time to knit a few rounds, this is what I've been working on.

The pattern is Wine and Roses. I'm using Bunny Sox Mulled Wine - sorry it's still not on our website. I'm almost finished with the cuff and am enjoying the pattern. And the yarn is scrumptious - just the thing when you want to treat yourself to something extra special.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

New Yarn

Stephanie wrote:

My Fiddlehead Sock (Ravelry link) is done. While it feels good to finish and cross this off of my to do list (I have a rather long list), I miss knitting with beads.

Even the back of this sock has bead work. Beautiful, glistening globes nestled among colorful stitches.

To top it all off a beaded picot bind off. There is a bit of counting with this bind off if you want the beads to be evenly spaced. Who knew counting to 8 could be so challenging.

To fill the void left by the beads I have the good fortune of sampling a new yarn. This is our Bunny Sox. Sorry there's no link - it's so new it's not even on our website yet.

This yarn is truly luxurious - soft as only angora can be. We've had this custom spun for Dye Dreams at a small, family owned and operated mill. The blend is 60% superwash merino, 25% angora and 15% nylon.

We've been dyeing Bunny Sox in a range of colors for its debut at Sock Summit. And I'm getting ready to cast on with it for a sample garment.

I'll have more to report as I make progress on the sample. And there's more yarn news, too. Be sure to check back.

I try to keep tabs on knitting for various causes. Someone just brought Mother Bear Project to my attention. Take a moment or two to click and read. This seems like another worthwhile effort where knitters can make a difference.