Posted in Color, Knit Equals Joy Designs, knitters, knitting, knitting patterns, test knitters

Color Bliss Sweater

Greetings, dear knitters and creative friends!  It has been a while since I’ve posted, and that’s because I’ve been working madly on the Color Bliss Sweater design.

Color Bliss is a seamless, top-down yoked sweater. Color is its defining design element: beautiful, happy, joyful color. The pattern is written for 8 colors, but any number of colors may be used. The colors in this first version were inspired by a ready-to-wear sweater I bought for my son when he was in high school – I just loved these colors in this order.

I’m now making a second Color Bliss, using a palette of greens, purples and blues.  I’m loving this palette and can’t wait to finish this one!

The pattern is written for ten sizes, for chest measurements of 36-54 inches. It has been tech edited and is now being test-knit. We are testing through the end of April in my Ravelry group, and it’s a bit like a knit-a-long. I am looking for a few more testers; let me know if you are interested.

Check out #colorblisssweater on Instagram to see the great sweaters that the amazing testers are knitting and to check out their gorgeous palettes!

Posted in Color, inspiration, Nature, Oregon, Oregon Coast, Pacific Northwest, Salishan, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Chaos

woodsy-1024x768I loved this little bit of undergrowth alongside the trail to the Salishan Spit. When I find chaotic spots of color and texture like this, it inspires and informs my knitting designs – and makes me happy!

See more chaos here: Weekly Photo Challenge: Chaos.

Posted in Color, fiber festivals, knitters, knitting, Rhinebeck, yarn

Rhinebeck – All About the Yarn

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Rhinebeck, as the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival is known, is now a distant memory, but the yarn I brought home with me is a concrete reminder of a lovely weekend spent with friends. I wrote about the weekend here, and now I’m writing about the yarn I chose and why.

My first yarn purchase at Rhinebeck was from Weston Hill Farm. I discovered Weston Hill Farm on my first trip to Rhinebeck, in 2011. The yarn was luminous, natural, and I had never seen anything quite like it. I returned to their booth several times, finally buying a sweater’s worth of yarn for this Shalom Cardigan using only natural, undyed yarns. Weston Hill Farm’s yarn comprised the bulk of it.

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I’ve also used Weston Hills Farm yarns to make this Ebb Cowl (pattern by Susan B. Anderson)

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and these Choose Your Own Cable Adventure Gloves which I test knitted for Aaron Bush

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The yarn I brought home this year from Weston Hills Farm is just as beautiful! It is luminous, soft and springy, and I love the colorways – beautiful, pure hues and subtle tonal solids.

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Weston Hill Farm – Worsted Weight
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Weston Hill Farm – Mountain Lake, Pear

Weston Hill Farm is based out of Westerlo, New York. Eileen and I became friends following Rhinebeck 2011 – when I called to order a bit more yarn to finish that Shalom – and I always love to see the pictures  she shares on social media of the farm’s sheep: Romneys, Border Leicesters, and long wool cross sheep. This is Ailionora, a registered Romney ewe. Isn’t she adorable?

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Ailionora, photo used by permission

Getting back to Rhinebeck – next on my quest for fiber, I picked up some lovely yarn by Solitude Wool.

solitude-wool-960x960Solitude Wool is based in Virginia and creates breed-specific yarns. Each skein lists the yarn’s fiber source as well as the yarn character, fiber content/care, length, size, suggested needles, gauge and batch.

Gradient and/or mini skein sets were all the rage at Rhinebeck, but I didn’t find one that I couldn’t pass up until I saw the Llama-rama mini skein bouquets at Solitude Wool. The yarn is 1/2 llama & 1/2 Romney, 2-ply/ fingering, 35 yds per color (210 yards total). The beautiful heathered colors are created by blending natural color llama with natural and dyed-in-the-wool Romney. It’s luminous, too.

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Llama-rama mini skein bouquet

I fell hard for this Alpaca/Merino. This fiber is a blend of 80% natural, undyed black and white alpaca with 20% natural and dyed-in-the wool Merino (2-ply/ lace weight, 275 yds, 2 oz). It is amazingly soft, and I absolutely love the muted purple tones. I think they had me at “elegant” in the description on the label. It has a great deal of depth, and I see more to love about it each time I look at it.

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Solitude Yarns Alpaca/Merino

The next yarn company that made me stop and stay awhile in their booth was North Light Fibers. North Light Fibers is a micro yarn mill based in Block Island, Rhode Island. We spent a lot of time in their booth just squishing the yarn – it all had an incredible hand. I was tempted by the cashmere – and it was amazing – but ended up with the Atlantic – 100% Falkland Island’s Wool (3-ply/Worsted, 170 yds, 2.5 oz). I snagged the exclusive colorway they created just for Rhinebeck, Blue Moon, a lovely periwinkle – one of my favorite colors ever. It will have excellent stitch definition, and will probably end up as cabled mitts.

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North Light Fibers Atlantic in Blue Moon

My final purchase of the weekend was from a Hudson Valley farm, Buckwheat Bridge Angoras. The farm raises Angora goats and Cormo sheep using sustainable practices. What caught my eye, however, were the painterly colorways. Beautiful!

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Buckwheat Bridge Angoras 70/30

The blend is 70% Fine Kid Mohair and 30% Cormo Wool. The green colorway is 250 yds/4 oz. and the multi blue/yellow is finer at 200 yds/2 oz.

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Buckwheat Bridge Angoras 70/30

I’m always amazed at the wonderful yarn selection now available to fiber enthusiasts. When I think back to the yarns my mother used back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, I am so grateful for the natural fibers we can now so easily find. And now, when there are so many artists hand-dyeing their fibers in gorgeous colorways such as the ones that made it into my Rhinebeck shopping bag – with so many options, now is a great time to be a knitter!

knit equals joy

Posted in Color, inspiration, Oregon, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

As a designer of knitting patterns, I’m always on a quest for inspiration. I find it in nature, in beautiful things, in the repetition and movement of architecture, and in color. The beautiful vibrancy and subtle nuance of color found at a farmer’s market in Ashland Oregon satisfied a quest for inspiration. Just look at that riotous color! Ah! It sends me following tenuous wisps of dreams of new possibilities.many-tomatoes-1024x683

Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest