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Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes with a yarn company? I have. Last fall, I answered Quince & Co’s call for scarf submissions–and to my great joy, the Falmouth Scarf was chosen as one of the pieces for the collection. Not only that, but Pam asked me if I’d be willing to come in and model the scarves, since I’m a mere hour’s drive from their main operation.

I’ll be honest: I was excited, but also nervous. The models Quince chooses are all so stunning: there is a depth to them, a soul that you can see in the photographs. I admire Carrie’s work deeply as well as Pam’s spotless aesthetic.  Pam had told me minimal makeup–come with a bare face. That surprised me quite a bit!  (they want me AS IS?) That’s the thing. They want real people with real flaws and real beauty.

When I got there, I was more than surprised. I was greeted at the door by Jerusha, sunny and cheerful (and steaming, and organizing, and visualizing, and tech editing…and…)  ushered into a warm room full of sunlight overlooking the Casco Bay Bridge. Mellow music drifted across the minimally decorated space and delicious fruit adorned wooden bowls. Twisted, gnarled willow branches reached forth from vases.

The shoot itself was fun. Carrie is very laid back, and we both have 2 daughters similar in age. She kindly laughed at my cheesy jokes. Pam’s sweet dog sauntered around, eyes big, hoping for snacks, and Ryan typed away on a laptop, tweeting the excitement.

Here’s another shot of me and one of the other models: and seriously, she is the sweetest thing.

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It was amazing to get a first look at all the works in this collection. I hope, when you see it, that you will take the time to inspect each one carefully. The stitches, arranged so perfectly with color. The balance of drape and ingenuous construction. And mine: The Falmouth Scarf, loaded with simple yet rich texture in squishy Osprey. Perfect for wrapping around the neck once, even twice, tall enough to block the cold winds easily and sit nicely on the shoulders.

Osprey is one of my favorite yarns that Quince produces. It knits up so quickly yet gives satisfaction. It has the richness of hot cocoa with the clean finish of green tea. As most of you following know, I am obsessed with buying local, and Quince is the ideal company for this model. Their wool is 100% US sourced, US spun, US dyed, US shipped. Supporing local at every step of the way. While I’ve heard that they wanted to create a great, basic yarn that would be satisfying to knitters, I have to disagree. This yarn is exceptional, and goes beyond basic in my opinion. The angle of twist on each weight is different- some springy, some smoother. The hand is soft yet strong, and the wool blocks out beautifully. I can guarantee that once you knit with it, you’ll be adding more to your stash.DSC_9396

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Ah, it’s that time of year. Christmas is over, and I really enjoy slowing down (though, in all honesty: Idefinitelyhaven’t)…this means setting aside time to spin yarn, too, instead of just knitting it.

There are those days when the snow rushes down in thick clusters full of snowflakes, and the only thin line separating you from the outside world is your drafty windowpanes. The woodstove roars as you stock it with wood, and despite the wind and snow, there is a silence. These days make me crave something simple, something that is going to comfort. Something local, and something most certainly natural.IMG_6018

I got my hands on a sampler pack of wool from Friends in Fiber (http://www.etsy.com/shop/FriendsinFiber), run by Jan and Peg. They’re so sweet and I had actually drooled over some of their top over a year ago at a NH sheep and wool festival. The sampler pack is great for me as a spinner for many reasons:

I get bored spinning the same fiber for a while- the sampler had 5 different kinds of fiber in it! It was so fun, so I spun them to get about 162 yards of sportweight single-ply. I spun them from darkest to lightest, too, so it’s a nice little self-colorblocking skein. Here are some pictures:

ImageYou can tell this fiber just loves being near quilts!

I skeined it up on the Ashford Noddy:

And wah lah!

Click through to friends in fiber’s website, leave a comment telling me which of their colors or fibers you’d like to try most, and I’ll enter you to win this skein!!! 🙂

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xoxo Until later

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Hello Friends!

Most of my American purchases lately have been yarn, and it’s easy to see why. Knitting is a wonderul way to tell stories through your work: about where you live, what you do…

So today, I have the Barnwood Series: a hat and cowl made of the most incredibly Luxe handdyed yarn by Kim out in Montana. Kim’s yarn can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/westernskyknits

and it’s totally worth stalking the updates. Her colors look like home to me. Barnwood specifically reminds me so mch of Maine- the granite rocks, the exposed wood everywhere…

My lovely friend Lauren is modeling the cowl, and Jen is modeling the hat. Barnwood is a gorgeous colorway Kim has dyed up- it’s a slightly varietal grey with hints of warmth in it. It coordinates with just about everything I own, and the softness is unrivaled. The best I can associate it with is a really rich hair conditioner. Both the hat and the cowl knit up very quickly thanks to the lacework. They can be found here: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/alicia-plummerImage

without ado, a barrage of pictures! 🙂

 

Hello Friends!

Most of you probably do a spring clean to air out the house and get things in order–but fall is my favorite season, so I do a fall clean as well! (Trust me, I’mverymessy…veryverymessy) so don’t go thinking I’m on top of it all, all the time!

During my foray into cleaning, I discovered that I didn’t have a good fall hat. Luckily, this coincided with Elena (Anadiomena on Ravelry) sending me a GORGEOUS skein of yarn. Ok- before I walk you through the inspiration, I just want to say that though she’s up in Canada her stuff ships SURPRISINGLY FAST. Really. She is a designer that I have followed for a long time, and she’s taken up dyeing her own yarn. You can find those here: They are amazingly gorgeous and saturated.

Not all handdyed yarns are alike! They have an imprint of the dyer’s personality on them, believe it or not. Elena’s work is inspiring. When I look at her colors, they make me feel excited, ready to take on new challenges–according to many psychologists, color can impact our emotions. I will testify to that! Her palette is just stunning, and if you buy Cranberry Autumn to knit up this month (until December 26th) you’ll find a 15% off code for her yarns in the PDF! If you do, make sure to check out her designs or send her a quick thank-you note!

Ok, so I got a little off topic there, but not really. Dear readers, this is how I think. I am messy and disorganized and I sometimes take a while to get to the point! When Elena sent me a skein of Sweet Merino DK in Georgin and I got it in the mail, it was so much richer and vibrant in real life. While she does a great job capturing the essence of her yarns, I’m not sure the glow can even be captured on camera. Anyways, this yarn was just screaming cranberries to me! It reminded me of a Cranberry Pork crockpot recipe that Dan’s Gram Lois gave me as a wedding gift. I put off cooking it for two years because with only 3-4 ingredients, how can it be that good? Well, it can. I have put the recipe on the bottom of the pattern page of Cranberry Autumn for free! It takes a maximum of five minutes to prepare and about 4 hours to sit in the crockpot, which frees up your hands for knitting (or playing with your kids!) and it has the added bonus of making the house smell amazing. The recipe can be found here

I know bobbles are love/hate. While working up this hat, I was skeptical too as it looks…interesting…while still in progress. Once it’s blcoked out, though, it’ adorable, and it’s my go-to hat now!

 

Lastly, I want tothank the gorgeous Kaeley for modeling the hat!!!

 

Until next time!