BK Collective 2015 patterns with Jorstad Creek Yarns

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The new Cedarbury cowl was rolled out to knitters at a recent event at Maker’s Mercantile in Kent, Washington, along with the new Traveler’s Creek Toe-up Sock, each in tweed. The cowl is knit in Jorstad Creek’s Tweed DK, and the sock is in a Blue-faced Leicester wool Tweed Sock. Both patterns were received well and made a splash with customers who turned out for a trunk show and presentation.

In fact I am thrilled with the pictures modeled and photographed by two talented ladies from Olympia, Washington. Amber Gizinski modeled our 2015 designs, and Christine Corrin took the amazing photographs. More patterns from this photo shoot will be introduced in 2015 as the year progresses. Some patterns are being test knit, and others are just waiting for the right moment. We will keep everyone on their toes a bit as we get them out into the knit-o-sphere when the timing is perfect!

Another great piece that was rephotographed to put into the BK Collective format is the spiral cowl made from Whidbey, the Jorstad Creek 100% merino fingering weight.

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All of these great patterns can be knit in yarns from your stash if you have the correct weights – the Cedarbury Cowl includes an option for a different commercial yarn, for example. The Traveler’s Sock could be knit in a lace weight or fine sock yarn that calls for a size 0 or 1. Of course I hope you will try them in one of my hand-dyed yarns, but either way I think you will enjoy the patterns. All three are available from the BK Collective on ravelry.com.

I am also pleased to be able to introduce a new worsted weight yarn called
“Vashon”, the worsted version of “Whidbey.” It is an ultrafine superwash merino that turns out fantastic using my dye techniques. I’ve been developing the colorways for this yarn over the past year and will be able to offer a good quantity at our booth at the Madrona Fiber Festival in Tacoma starting February 12 through the 15th. I am working on knitted items to show this very soft, beautiful yarn worked up into wearable items.

Speaking of Madrona, I hope to see you there. Please stop by and see what’s new at the Jorstad Creek booth! Kerry

Charity Knitting Deepens the Knitting Experience

Cashmere Goats
Cashmere Goats

 

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Hats for the Purple Crying project.

This year was the first for Jorstad Creek to take on a charity knitting project. We collaborated with the local Zonta International chapter to provide free hat kits to knitters or crocheters who stopped by our side-by-side booths during the August Harbor Days event in Olympia, Washington.

We gave away all of the kits to be knit up into baby hats and donated to Family Education and Support Services of Olympia (Familyess.org) who in turn donates the hats plus a video and information packet to new parents at local hospitals. The hats are a visual reminder to new parents that sometimes new babies cry for no reason at all, even after you’ve taken care of all of their needs. The video talks to parents about taking care of themselves and how to cope with inconsolable crying in a newborn. The program helps to prevent shaken baby syndrome, a problem that has escalated throughout Thurston County in the past few years.

One person who accepted a kit found me at my booth at Fiber Fusion and shared her enthusiasm for the project. We laid out all of the hats she had made since August, and I snapped a photo that ended up on the Jorstad Creek Facebook page. Having just retired and finding herself in need of a project, she confessed to me how much meaning this act of charity knitting has given to her knitting.

I have been thinking about her experience, and casting forward to what might be another cause for Jorstad Creek to support as we move toward the new year and 2015. As if someone was reading my mind, I ran across an article in the Holiday 2014 Vogue Knitting about cashmere grown in Pangong, India. A Cashmere Craft Center is being built to provide the women of the area a place to go during the winter to spin and weave the locally produced cashmere, and have their children with them in a light, warm environment. Being able to produce products for sale saves these women from having to do heavy manual labor with their infants on their backs.

As a yarn company I feel compelled to embrace this effort on the other side of the world. While I do not currently make yarn with cashmere in it, I have one commercial yarn I hand dye that has a small quantity. It is a wonderful fiber, and I want to know more about how it is produced for the commercial hand knitting yarn market. In the mean time, I can support the building of the center by donating a portion of my company’s profits to this worthy effort at my next fiber market event.

I will be donating five percent of gross proceeds from my booth at  KnitFit in Ballard (November 8 and 9, 2014) to the Cashmere Craft Center effort.  To donate individually, visit http://www.wildfibersmagazine.com/#!ladakh/clejy.

Jorstad Creek at Fiber Fusion NW Oct 18-19

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Isle of Skye Merino-Silk in two colors “Departure Bay” and “Maroon 5”

I’m on the road again to Fiber Fusion Northwest this weekend, taking Jorstad Creek yarns to Monroe, Washington and the Evergreen State Fairgrounds for this fiber-and-yarn oriented show. Take a look at their website at this link:  http://www.fiberfusion.net/

Every year this event gets bigger.  This will be my second year as a vendor, and I look forward to seeing knitters who stopped in at my booth last year.

The organizers of this event are great to work with.  I love the variety of vendors ranging from fiber artists with fantastic felted clothing and rugs, to pattern designers, to farms selling raw fleece.  The classes offered reflect this variety, too.  Felted slippers and sculpted “bowls” are among the unusual project-oriented classes. They also put  together an amazing number of door prizes for visitors to the event.

I will be featuring new hand painted fingering weight “Whidbey” for this event in two colorways, “Calypso on the Beach” and “Suspense”.  Whidbey is one of the first yarns I added to my line, featuring superwash merino in an amazing lofty spin.  This yarn is one of my favorites for the dye pot, it brings out the best in any color I use.  It is a natural choice to try out hand painting longer pieces on super-long skeins.  I think they turned out fantastic.  I hope you will come by and tell me what you think.  There is a limited supply available for sale.

Also featured will be kits for the Churchmouse folded poncho pattern that I put together using two strands of yarn, Isle of Skye mohair/silk blend, and Iona merino/silk.  Iona is hand painted in small color pieces.  Together they make a fabric that looks like a Monet painting.  I have a number of new color ways in Isle of Skye to pair up for different hazy effects (see first photo above), and a sample poncho knitted up for trying on.

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Returning this year with me is the BFL Tweed Sock, in new colors.  I am also bringing  the BK Collective Patterns reworked in a new improved format, featuring options for yarn weights. For spinners I will offer natural colored Icelandic, Gotland, and Finn fleece processed either into roving, batts, or washed locks.

I hope you can join me at this fun show.  The facility and the show itself (with animals to see and pet!) make this a great event for families.  Please stop by, say hello, and show me what you’ve been knitting!  Thanks, Kerry

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Finding the Best Yarn Companions

Jann talks about yarn choices that make a big difference when paired together either in providing a contrasting effect, or harmonious effect.

KnitKnot Adventures

It is fall in the Pacific Northwest and my urge to knit is strong. Even stronger than the urge to buy school supplies! (Every September I want to buy pens and paper. How can that still be true, after all these years?)

One of my favorite yarn choices is a combination of a one multi-colored and one solid-colored yarn, probably because a wide range of effects are possible. Some combinations have a bold, high contrast look while others combinations are subtle and complex.

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These pictures show details of a vest I made using sock yarns. Much of the impact of this combination comes from the high contrast between these two yarns. The contrast is created in part by a light-dark contrast and in part by a contrast of hue or color. (These are only two of seven kinds of contrast Johannes Itten discusses in his classic work The Elements of Color

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Dancing Waters Coated Sheep

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Remember these?

Remember hot water bottles? My first winter in my little 1938 cottage with baseboard heating, my hot water bottle was my best friend. In the evenings I knit warm sweaters on my lap. Just prior to going to bed I would pre-warm the sheets with a hot water bottle. I remember wrapping my toes around it and drifting off to sleep cozy with the wind blowing outside. I love this kit idea, it takes the humble red hot water bottle up a few notches…

Fall knitting is nearly here.

girl with scarfI am looking ahead toward the winter, not because I want cold weather, but because I am thinking about knitting projects.  Like so many knitters I embrace the fall because it brings with it possibility, choices, design, and all the potential pleasant hours quietly knitting.  It is that emotive power of potential that stimulates the creative side of us.  For some this causes us to not only want several projects lined up like mason jars filled with food, but a whole shelf, cupboard, or even closet full of yarn stashed like a doomsday hoard.  Such a stash provides us comfort and the security of knowing that we will not run out of inspiration anytime soon.

As a dyer and yarn provider some of my clients are snowbirds.  The process of choosing yarn for the winter is a summertime necessity, but it also can be difficult to think of what would please and delight the eye in the waning light of winter days at a time when the yellow Apollo sun is beating down full force.  Do not underestimate the power of light to affect how we see color – a bright full summer sun can make the subtle fall colors we love look dull and lifeless, only to come alive in the cooler and less yellow light of fall and winter.

In the summer we may be quite content to have a cream, a cornflower blue or a deep pink on the needles, growing into a light accessory or garment.  But fall brings with it a desire for depth, complexity, texture, and colors that say “I am complicated, don’t underestimate me.”  As a dye artist I have to think about these things well before cooler temperatures begin to take over the evenings. Even when the days are at their longest I must develop my sense of what will please a few months ahead.  Along with playing with the “color of the year,” vivid orchid, (a true jewel tone), it is necessary for me to develop deep chestnut, persimmon, forest green, and a red that will speak to you when you see them.

When I hit upon the right tone or shade, I have my own sense of satisfaction and achievement.  My certainty reaches an even higher level when I hear someone say with instant recognition  “Yes! That is exactly right!”  This is what I am building toward right now, leaning over a steaming dye pot and plotting my next color.

New worsted weight Vashon works beautifully for the Churchmouse Ferry Boat mitts, a very quick project and simple too.  I will be knitting them for presents, as they work for both women and men.  I made up kits for this pattern with specially dyed fall colors for Yorkshire Yarns in Lakewood.  The kit comes with the pattern and enough yarn for a pair.  Making its debut is “Sonya’s Red”, a blue-ey red with pieces of dark and light that make for a multifaceted colorway.

What are the colors you look forward to knitting with this fall? Are you thinking about gift knitting and Christmas?  Tell me what color you are dreaming of for the coming season.

 

Great Steppe Fiber Project

A scoping project to establish a fiber company in Mongolia based on the principles of Fair Trade

Jorstad Creek

A yarn and fiber company.

whit::knits

(and crochets, and stitches, and is otherwise generally crafty)

KDD & co

Award-winning Scottish publishing and design

The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts

Interweaving life with fiber arts! (Photograph by Carly Moskat.)

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