The Coziest Himalayan Summit

When I used to think of a Himalayan Summit, I didn’t think cozy. My thoughts would go to ice and avalanches and crampons. Leave it to Bijou Basin Ranch to defy conventional thinking though and completely revolutionize what I think of when I hear the words “Himalayan Summit’. Now, I think of this…

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50% Tibetan Yak + 50% Merino Wool. Let me tell you, it doesn’t get a whole lot softer than this!

I also think of this amazing assortment of goodies that the wonderful folks at Bijou Basin Ranch sent me when they kindly sent me the yarn for review…

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I always feel so spoiled — like I’m not just getting yarn to review, but a care package from friends with this shop send me goodies.

The yarn was so soft, in fact, that I actually chose to wind it the old fashioned way, just to spend a little more time with it in my hands…

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This yarn is a limited edition colorway called Crab Nebula dyed by ModeKnit for Bijou Basin Ranch. They’ve been partnering up with indie dyers the past few years in order to get some really unique, very fresh colorways. This colorway was so pretty ‘as is’ that I opted for a very simple pattern, my first ever Sockhead Slouch Hat. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry that I’ve seen knit up hundreds of times and it was about time I got around to knitting it for myself. This fabulous yarn was the perfect match.

After winding my yarn I discovered that the US 2.5 needle was literally the one needle size greater than a US 1 (I have never had the need for anything lower than US 1) that I did not own in circulars. I ordered some ChiaoGoo interchangeable tips and cords just to try them out.

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I started with what I believe was a 14″ cord, thinking it would be similar to the 16″ ones I’m used to, but it was a little tight, especially in the ribbing. I didn’t want to fight with my equipment, so I went back online and ordered the 8″ cord and waited for it to arrive.

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The 8″ was so much better! I had already purchased the 30″ for magic looping the crown, so I knew I was all set. I though the Chiaogoos were a great needle with smooth, easy to secure joins, nice sharp tips, and very comfy in the hands. Well worth all the hype I’ve heard from knitting friends. Between the needles and the yarn, I simply flew through this knit.

And voilá!

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Finished in no time flat!

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I’m especially impressed that there was so little pooling in the colorway. And I really just adore the vivid blues and oranges — the colors just POP.

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It’s a super, super slouchy hat, as the name of the pattern implies. Pair the nice long folding brim with the 50/50 yak/merino blend and this is simply a heavenly hat — so soft and so warm. Gah! I just love it!

I tried very hard to discourage the sproingy haired bandit from stealing this one. I went to great lengths with all sorts of shenanigans…

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So far, my plan has been working and I’ve managed to keep this one in my own hat stash.  It helps that I hung it up on a rack that she can’t reach. Keep your fingers crossed for me because this is the coziest Himalayan Summit I can imagine and I think I want to keep it all for myself!

 

Many thanks to Bijou Basin Ranch for sending me this yarn for review!

 

 

 

 

WIPs on a Wednesday

I just finished racing to mow the lawn and as I quickly filled up the bird feeders, I glanced West and I could see a bank of clouds, my friends. And do you know what those clouds have in store for me and my little family?

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That’s right, SNOW. We’ve had flurries and little mini-squalls that have melted right away for the last few days, but today we should see an inch on the ground. Hence all the running around to get the yard tidied up. With things zipped up outside, I can in good conscience steal a moment to share my current WIPs and goings-on here.

Having finished a quick test knit over weekend after getting out of the whole birthday rush, I opted to go ahead and clean up my notions. I’m usually pretty deliberate in always promptly getting my notions back to their homes when I finish using them. I’m not someone who will just buy another needle or pair of scissors or whatever if I can’t find the one for which I’m looking. (For the record, this is not a diss if you are one of those people — I’m a true believer in ‘to each his/her own’ in this regard and that there are pros and cons either way.) No, I’m the kind of person who will tear apart the house to find the item I’m missing and it will eat away at me if I can’t find it. So yeah… I cleaned up my notions and needles and things that I was too rushed to take care of over the last couple of weeks.

In the process, I found a WIP. To be more specific, I found a WIP that is embarrassing that it is still a WIP. You see, all I need to do is attach the pom.

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Literally. It’s washed and blocked and just needs the pom secured and photos taken. So that is on my desk so I can’t forget to make it happen.

I’ve also been plugging away at my lovely Brillig

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It won’t lay flat to show you the upper edge, but I think right now the colors are the most exciting part. I think it is just so pretty and such a fun potato chip knit once you get rolling. I’m watching a number of friends shawl their FOs of this pattern in the NimbleNim SAL+KAL in the Three Waters Farm Ravelry Group and it’s kind of making me anxious, but I have to remind myself that mine is a lighter weight and higher yardage version so it’s bound to take longer. Regardless, it’s a super fun knit.

I also treated myself to a new spinning project.

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I’m happy to report that as promised I remembered to not only take photos of the prepped fiber, but I weighed and noted how I split up the braid so when it comes time to show you the skein, I’ll actually be able to tell you how I made it. Yay! This is Granite on the Three Waters Farm 60/40 Polwarth+Silk base and is is glorious — color and base alike. If all goes according to plan, it’ll wind up the warp of a new weaving project. I’m long overdue for one of those!

With this spin, I also finally discovered a good way for me to use a little spinning wheel basket I got from a booth at the WI Sheep & Wool Festival.

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It’s billed as being a basket to hang from your wheel and be used to collect vegetable matter. That is why I bought it; to discard slubs and what-not as I went and maybe contain my mess. Well, it turns out that because of my positional limitations, that function did not work at all for me as intended and I tried sitting it next to me instead, but with the handle it was more in the way than anything else.

Then I realized that it would actually be marvelous to tuck my in-progress fiber into. So when I finish up a spinning session, rather than try to stuff my attach fiber somewhere on the wheel where it inevitably gets knocked off, I can tuck the fiber into my little basket.

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Nice and tidy! Now, clearly if I was spinning directly from a braid of a bigger chunk of fiber, I would have to break off a smaller piece because the basket is small, but I usually do that anyway. I really appreciate that this helps to keep my fiber secure and because I have a length of fiber ready to go, it’s really easy to grab and start spinning again any time. And, of course, I’m delighted to put this purchase to good use.

Aside from the sock WIP I still need to positively track down (I think I know where it is, but I haven’t actually gone and checked yet) and a spindle spin that I think it hanging out with said sock WIP, I have one other project currently in the works.

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Or nearly in the works, I should say. This is a skein of Bijou Basin Ranch‘s new base, Himalayan Summit and they were kind enough to send me this skein in the Crab Nebula colorway to try out and review. I’ve got a the general plan for this yarn set in my head, but I’m still deciding between a couple wonderfully classic patterns. I’m sure I’ll be casting on shortly though. Probably as soon as I can that pom attached to my other hat.

It’s the first of November, as well, so I’m starting to think about some holiday knitting and spinning plans, too. I have one lofty, dreamy plan in my head, but I’m not entirely sure it’s feasible or wise. We all know that’s never stopped me though, right?!

What are you working on this Wednesday? And are you starting to think about holiday knitting? Feel free to chime in and share in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group!