Summer 2014 – Not So Lazy Days

Safeco Field View behind Safeco Field Isle of Skye with Iona Narfi Icelandic 2-ply Keukenhof CapeletHi friends. It has been a great summer with opportunities to travel locally to Stitch and Pitch events at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, and Safeco Field in Seattle. I took my two teens with me to watch the Mariners play the Baltimore Orioles one summer evening, with the bonus that we could sample the food AND the yarn on the way. We were all joking in the car that the last minute tickets we purchased would probably be in the nosebleed section. After indulging in some treats and looking at lots of beautiful fiber we trekked into the stadium to find those seats. Up and up and up, I could hardly climb the stairs I was laughing so hard. Yep, we were in the very last row of the very top tier, so high up we could turn around and take pictures of the Port of Seattle behind us.

Never mind, we had a really great time and even though we were the farthest away we still had a great view of the game. I managed to balance my knitting project on my knees without losing the ball of yarn down multiple tiers of chairs, an accomplishment in my book. I brought my second Churchmouse folded poncho project, this time made with Jorstad Creek Isle of Skye (mohair/silk) and Iona (merino/silk), and the rows added upon rows as the game progressed (see close up photo).

In the market place was the booth for Lakewood-based Yorkshire Yarns, doing a brisk business in sport-team-colored yarn and project kits. One of my newest yarns in the Jorstad Creek collection, Vashon, a worsted weight version of the popular Whidbey, was also featured in a kit for the Churchmouse favorite Ferry Boat Mitts. Yorkshire offers other Jorstad Creek yarns in their store, including Whidbey, San Juan sock yarn, Tweed sock yarn, and Tweed DK! I am very excited about this new arrangement. Visitors stopping in to their store from out of town ask about whether the store has anything made locally. The Jorstad Creek yarns provide something new and different from the commercial yarns you can find almost anywhere.

Along with the local travel I have been using every spare minute preparing more fiber to send to the spinning mill so I can offer more local sheep-to-yarn products this Fall.  I received back a box of Brynn, the Icelandic fingering weight 3-ply.  Earlier in the spring I received shipments of the local Gotland two-ply and Narfi Icelandic two-ply, both fingering weight.  The Gotland is a beautiful grey and will stay that way, as this fiber is stunning on its own with the natural luminescent sheen it has.  Narfi however is so much fun to dye in colors.  I did some “extreme dyeing” as you can see by the picture above, seeing how bright and how saturated I can get with this great fiber.  Just shipped to the mill this week is this year’s batch of Finnlanka, the 100% Finn wool yarn in 3-ply sport weight.  I am frantically trying to get a batch of Alpaca/Finn ready to ship as well, so I can offer another 3-ply sportweight in a super soft option.

Other dyeworks in the pipeline include the preparation of new Fall colors in the Tweed DK and Tweed Sock, kits for the Churchmouse ribbed skirt in Brynn (posted in a previous blog), and kits for a new pattern to be published, the Keukenhof Gardens Capelet/Cowl (see photo).  Keukenhof was inspired by a trip to the famed garden of that name in Holland when I was about 8 years old and living in Germany with my parents.  Keukenhof Gardens is a well-known destination that features tulips in every variety, color, and shape you can think of.  Trips to Holland with my parents are fond memories for me because I struggled to learn the German language and many of the Dutch people spoke English at the time. When Lismore DK merino came out of the dye pot in this red I knew I wanted to knit Keukenhof-inspired tulips in memory of my time in Holland.  The rich brown of the background represents the dark earth from the flat floodplains of the farmlands in the Netherlands, the sage and green for the leaves and the bright china blue for the expansive sky.

Also in development are new patterns by Jann Hoppler of the BK Collective for the Tweed DK, including a cowl in two ways,  and finally my favorite toe-up sock in the Tweed Sock yarn.  Check back  here for updates as we prepare these patterns for launch in the Fall.  Those of you who have been waiting for the promised updates to other BK Collective patterns, we are close to having them ready for download in early Fall, with lovely new pictures and an updated format that is knitter-friendly.  Please check for them at http://www.ravelry.com.  You do not have to be a Raveler to purchase and download patterns from the Ravelry website.

The next event for Jorstad Creek is Olympia Harbor Days at the end of August.  This labor day weekend event is a huge community gathering for arts, crafts, food, and local non-profit organizations, not to mention tug boat races, a local tradition.  I will be set up near one end of Columbia Street next to the local Zonta Club, providing free Purple Baby Hat kits (yarn and pattern) while they last, to support the parent-education project to prevent shaken-baby syndrome.  After Harbor Days the next event will be the Nordic Knitting Conference in Ballard at the beginning of October.  Check back for specific dates and locations on this blog for more fiber events coming up throughout the Autumn months.  Until then everyone enjoy the rest of summer!  Kerry

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