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?

img_8594

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.

img_8589

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

img_8588

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.

img_8591

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.

img_8592

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.

img_8593

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.

img_8590

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!

 

 

Something BIG

Last week, a guest blog post I wrote for Bijou Basin Ranch went live. In it, I got to share my experience knitting up one of their newest yarns, Big Bijou Bliss. This limited edition yarn is really something special and I encourage y’all to check out what I had to say about it right here.

That said, I thought I’d share some of the photos here, too, because I’m just so smitten with the finished project.

wtw-detI used the Weather the Weather Hat pattern by Megan Williams and a little less than one skein of Big Bijou Bliss in the Lakeside colorway.

wtw-bbbflatIsn’t it lovely? It was such a great knit it went from cake to on my head in about a day.

wtwbbbAs I said, you can read my more detailed thoughts on the yarn and project here (the Bijou Basin Ranch folks are so kind of let me guest post, aren’t they?), but since we’re in the holiday knitting season as well as just plain colder weather, I wanted to be sure all of you got a glimpse of this fab quick knit. They just got in a bunch of new colors, too, so be sure to check it out!

One Outlandish Red

I’ve long admired the beautiful yarns of Bijou Basin Ranch. In fact, a while back while on vacation I picked up these lovely skeins of Bijou Bliss as a special treat.

So pretty in the natural brown yak/cormo blend, isn’t it?!

As you can imagine, when I heard that they were coming out with 22 brand new colors inspired by the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, I couldn’t wait to see them and pick out a couple to knit up. My selections from the Outlandish series…

20140704-113032-41432571.jpgThe amazing blue of Dinna Fash and the rich red of Fergus, both in the Himalayan Trail base which is 75% pure yak & 25% merino.

This month the wonderful folks at Bijou Basin Ranch are celebrating the launch of this awesome line with specials each week — hooray! This week the reds are highlighted and thus let me tell you a bit about my adventures with Fergus.

20140704-112803-41283499.jpgPerhaps one of the most notable aspects of this yarn is that it is incredibly soft & light. And it is darn warm, too! Billed as ‘warmer than wool & as soft as cashmere’, the yak/merino blend of Himalayan Trail is clearly a very special yarn and thus my 200yds of Fergus required a very special pattern. After a bit of deliberation and some consultation with a fellow knitter, I went with Alicia Plummer’s frais.

20140704-112802-41282508.jpgBoy am I happy with this choice! The stitch pattern is very subtle, especially in the fluffy Himayalan Trail, but it is just stunning.

20140704-112804-41284716.jpgI had the absolute best time knitting this. Most of it was spent outside with my feet up, watching my kiddos play. Life doesn’t get a whole lot sweeter than watching kids play (let’s selectively neglect to remember the refereeing that goes into this) & knitting a yarn as lovely as this.

20140704-112805-41285827.jpgIn the end, I had a scant 4grams left — that’s about 14yards. My goal was to use up as much of this special skein as possible. I would say this is a mission accomplished!

The result?

simpleA beautiful little cloche, dubbed by Mr Knitting Sarah as “one of the cutest hats” I’ve made.

me in fraiseHe said I couldn’t share that comment, but I am anyway. I think it’s pretty accurate. I just love it!

Soft and cozy and just as cute as can be and did you see that absolutely lovely color? And as I mentioned there are some sales going on this month — again hooray! — and this week Bijou Basin Ranch is offering 15% off Outlandish red group yarns – no coupon code is necessary as the prices are already adjusted in the online shop. Yes, it’s true! Two different bases are available, either the Himalayan Trail I’ve used here or Lhasa Wilderness, a yak/bamboo blend. What a great chance to try these beauties out!

Wondering about that what that blue skein became? Stay tuned!

For more info on this project, please see my Ravelry project page here.