Yarn, Wine, Secrets, and Socks

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My Pecan Grove scarf in the colorway “Wine and Roses” is finished! This is the simple Pecan Grove scarf knit up in the Wool Tussah Silk Single Ply (fingering weight). I love how this yarn takes the dye to a deep vibrant level. Wednesday at market I overhead a customer comment (while looking at this scarf and holding it upside down) say that the pattern was hearts. I kind of like that, and didn’t even think of explaining the  opposite leaf pattern and the significance of the Pecan Grove at the Walnut Valley Festival.

Last Saturday I bought a copy of Cookie A’s knit, sock, love and yes – I want to knit every sock in the book! Well almost every sock. I’ve tried knitting the Monkey socks before and they are entirely too big for my dinky petite foot. The majority of the patterns come in more than one size, which is a plus since feet come in – yes – more than one size.

One of the things I love about the book is that many of the socks are shown in fairly solid color yarns. I’m a fan of the solid and tonal sock yarns. Almost all of the yarns, sock and not sock, in my stash and from my dyepot are solid or tonal. There are a few skeins of busy hand-painted yarns in the stash. But as a hard core lace knitter I want to put extreme stitches, lace and texture, into my projects and that usually calls for a less visually active yarn.

As I said, this is a book that makes me knit my way through every pattern. That’s saying a great deal. This urge has only happened twice, first with the Haapsalu Saal book and now with knit, sock, love.

First though I have to finish a few things. A new lace triangle shawl design is on the needles. I can’t show you much – but here’s a peek… Wool Tussah Silk Fingering in colorway Secluded Copse. That’s all the hint I’m sharing, the rest is a secret.

I also need to finish the Lingerie Socks. Yes, I cast on the wickedly crazy lace socks in the new Knitty.com. Because I have the afore mentioned dinky foot ( a Euro size 34) I cast on with 00US dpns, and moved to 0US dpns after the initial chart. I’ve opened a basket of crazy with such tiny needles but every gal needs a pair of extra girly socks that never get shoved into boots or shoes, right? (Let’s hope I finish them because I’d hate for them to join the four other singleton socks marinating in the WIP’s bin.)

At dinner on Wednesday night I perused knit.sock.love again. (I’m having a problem keeping my hands off of it actually.) This a gorgeous book, the photography is splendidly done by Laura Kicey and I find it incredibly inspiring. I want to be one of the models, wandering around shoeless with gorgeous socks in the woods, by dilapidated buildings, perched on ladders… Sock knitting is still a booming business and some people are completely addicted, and with the continued excitement of such things as Sock Cruises and Sock Summit, Cookie A. knows her audience.

For those of you who’ve already bought succumbed to knit.sock.love you’ll be glad to hear there is a Ravelry group devoted to the book. It’s kind of a support group – support to help you knit through the patterns type group. Since there are nineteen patterns you know it’s beyond anything a twelve step program could tackle.

As I write this blog post I’m patiently waiting for a new shipment of Oklahoma raised wool (blended for sock yarn) with bamboo and nylon to return from the mill. I’m trying to control the giddiness, really I am. When the new yarn arrives and I get a few skeins dyed up, I think I may just begin with the Hedera sock, the first one in knit.sock.love and quite possibly work my way through. You know I’ll need to use them as gauge right? Yep, that’s my excuse.


Summer Monday Dyepot Special

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Summer Monday Dyepot Special — June 27 through June 29

This week’s special is not a new colorway, although you haven’t seen it online before. Twice I’ve dyed pots of this colorway and it sold out before I had an opportunity to take glamour shots for the online store.

This version of a deep kohl to black is called Amy Winehouse for the singer whose dark tresses teased into a bump and thick eyeliner are great packaging, but shouldn’t overshadow her strong, sultry voice and revealing songwriting. While Winehouse may sing “You Know I’m No Good” I think you’ll find the two base yarns being offered in this colorway very good indeed.

Amy Winehouse in Oak Barn Merino — Sale Price $25.50 (regular price $30)

Amy Winehouse in Wool/Tussah Silk Single Ply– Sale Price $21.25 (regular price $25)

** Just a note to announce that the yarn that was previously called Wool/Tussah Silk Single Ply Lace is now classified as Wool/Tussah Silk Single Ply Fingering. Why the change? When the wool was sent to the mill I requested a single ply fingering weight yarn, but when it arrived back on the farm I debated whether it was a fingering or leaned more towards a lace yarn. At first swatch I thought lace but now that I’ve finished a project with the yarn I definitely consider it a fingering weight yarn with a thick-thin character and plenty of spring and twist. The gram weight is right for fingering as well as the wraps-per-inch. I think you’ll enjoy it for scarves and shawls that call for a fingering weight yarn.**

Random Friday Post

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I’m going in so many different directions so here are a half dozen random topics that are swirling around in my mind and in my hands.  There are a dozen more…

1. My new Pecan Grove in Wool/Tussah Silk Lace (colorway Wine & Roses) is almost complete. In fact, I may finish it this weekend. (It’s further along than this photo shows.)

Pecan Grove at 50% complete

2. I’ve queued Tibetan Clouds Stole again and think I’ll knit it using Wool/Tussah Silk Lace in colorway Embers. Yeah – orange! The skeins are wound but I don’t plan on casting on until maybe September.

3. Tess has battled the wild boars again. Chris has her at the vet right now for stitching. I need to learn how to stitch a wound and insert a drain tube on this dog. (eta: according to the vet these wounds were made by a beaver. The hair is shaved by the beaver tooth as it enters. TMI?)

4. Have you seen the new Lingerie Socks on Knitty? I’ve got to have a pair!  I may be crazy.

5. My friend Colleen showed me these stockings from Vogue Knitting. Dang. Gorgeous! Loved but not Queued. Maybe I’m not completely crazy.

6. The sunflower harvest has begun. I like harvesting sunflowers. You don’t have to stoop and the rip of the serrated sickle against the thick column is rewarding.

Martha likes to follow along sometimes despite the fact that she overheats easily. Silly dog.

Summer Monday Dyepot Special — June 20 through June 22

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Summer Monday Dyepot Special — June 20 through June 22.

When the summer heats up here on the farm my mind drifts often to escape. So on this first Monday of the Summer Dyepot Specials I’m offering two colorways, Houston and Taos. Both are blues. The Houston colorway is a soft blue with light to medium ranges. The Taos colorway is a nearly solid turquoise green/blue.

Houston – what comes to mind?

The fourth largest city in the US. Silver skyscrapers and big blue sky (everything is bigger in Texas they say). Shopping. Oil money. All things urban, including the cowboys.

Taos – what comes to mind?

A small town set between a forest wilderness and a desert. Art and literature. Squash Blossom Necklaces. Southwest cuisine. The famous Taos Wool Festival.

What type of fiber escape calls to you this week? Houston or Taos? Whether you base your choice on the color or the name I think you’ll find any of our three fiber options a good decision for your summer knitting.

The Summer Monday Dyepot Special offer is good through Wednesday of this week online only. Click the “Add to Cart” button next to the yarns of your choice and you’ll get 15% off the regular price.

Houston Colorway

Colorway Option #1 HOUSTON

Wool Tussah Silk Lace in Houston (400yds) $21.25 (regular price $25)

Oak Barn Merino in Houston (1000yds) $25.50 (regular price $30)

Wool Tussah Silk Sport in Houston (220yds) $21.25 (regular price $25)

Taos Colorway

Colorway Option #2 – TAOS

Wool Tussah Silk Lace in Taos (400yds) $21.25 (regular price $25)

Oak Barn Merino in Taos (1000yds) $25.50 (regular price $30)

Wool Tussah Silk Sport in Taos (220yds) $21.25 (regular price $25)

The first Summer Monday Dyepot Special is closed. The orders will be shipped soon! 
The next special will be posted 27 June 2011.

Summer Monday Dyepot Special!

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Each Monday through the Summer we’ll be offering a Summer Dyepot Special! A colorway photo will be posted here on the blog along with an “Add to Cart” button that enables you to purchase the yarn at 15% off. Purchase must be made by 9pm Wednesday to get the discount. Yarns will be dyed and shipped out Monday or Tuesday of the following week. Don’t dawdle…like Cinderella’s carriage turning into a pumpkin, at 9pm Wednesdays the Summer Dyepot Special colorways will return to full price. I’ll choose one or two yarn bases and one or two colorways each week, and no one but me knows what’s coming next, and frankly, I probably won’t know until I decide what to brew.

Regular shipping costs apply and the discount does not apply to market or food co-op purchases. This is an internet-only offer.

Be sure and check this page for new Summer Dyepot Special colorways each Monday through the end of August!

Example pricing:

Wool/Tussah Silk 2 Ply Sport 220yds $21.25 (regularly $25)

Wool/Tussah Silk 1 Ply Lace 400yds $21.25 (regularly $25)

Oak Barn Merino Lace 1000yds $25.50 (regularly $30)

Wool Tussah Silk Lace Yarn

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The new Wool Tussah Silk Lace Yarn is going to the farmer’s market this week! ‘

At 400 yards per 100 grams with just a little bit of thick/thin fun this is hands down my new favorite yarn. The colorways I’m getting with this yarn are dazzling! I’m designating this as “lace” yarn but it easily could be considered a “light fingering”. It’s a great weight for most any scarf and shawl and at $25 a skein it’s not hard on the pocketbook.

I’m currently using the Wine & Roses colorway for my Pecan Grove Scarf and think my next project will be Tibetan Clouds in the Wool/Tussah Silk Single Ply – if I can just decide on the colorway…

Just a few skeins are in the online shop right now but expect to see more in the coming weeks.

A weekend in the city – knitting, cycling, and fine dining.

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When you live, as we do, sixty miles from a real city (In this case Tulsa, although I’m certain many people would not consider Tulsa a real city although I beg to disagree) weekends off the farm can be jam-packed full of activities. One perk of living so far from town is the amount of car knitting a passenger can enjoy. I consider myself pretty lucky when Chris drives.

Before we left the farm we’d made our lists of stops and things to do. After a few errands we had dinner Friday night with my folks and Hillarey at one of our regular spots, Bros. Houligan. A fine place for steak, shrimp, chicken and some of the best green beans around. Conversation continued out into the street as we all stood around beside our cars.

Since it was still daylight when we all finally got in our cars Chris and I headed for the Blue Dome District to catch the Friday night criterium of the Tulsa Tough. This is maybe the sixth year for the bicycle races that have become one of the highlights of the year for cycling enthusiasts in our area. Even though Chris nor I would ever consider bicycling in such events ourselves (we lean towards the more leisurely ride or distance touring) we thoroughly enjoy it as a spectator sport.

 Tulsa Tough 2011
Tulsa Tough 2011

We arrived in time to see some of the elite men and women compete. It’s hard to take a photo of the cyclists as they whiz past you, but then it’s also hard to focus on them with the naked eye as well. They are flying around corners usually in large groups and it’s about all I can do to hold my breath as they pass.

Tulsa Tough 2011
Tulsa Tough 2011

Even the cyclists competing next find a spot to watch the races and cheer on their team mates.

Tulsa Tough 2011

As the top level men were racing thunder and lightening began. With only a few laps remaining I convinced Chris it was time to head to the car before the storm began in earnest. The last laps included some harrowing crashes we learned later. The tires are skinny and hydroplaning happens quickly on a bicycle. We adjourned for the evening, anticipating an early wake up for market.

Tulsa Tough 2011

Shortly after 5am we were setting up our tent at the farmers market on Cherry Street. The weather was beautiful and people came out to enjoy the sunshine. After market we’d made plans to go to the Maxwell Library for an hour or two for Knitting in Public and Yarn Bombing. It was good fun (despite the fact that I completely forgot to take any photos!). Even with a small crowd there were enough knitted items created to yarnbomb the library! Several young library patrons (under the age of ten) were kept busy adorning benches, scanners and anything else the head librarian thought needed brightening up.

Saturday evening we attended the Lavender Farm Table Dinner at Living Kitchen Farm and Dairy. Our friends Lisa and Linda are amazing farmers. Lisa is a former chef and restauranteur from Seattle who became so interested in fresh local foods that her entire life changed. Each year we supply her with a bit of our Munstead lavender harvest and in her hands the sweet little buds and leaves are transformed into one of the finest meals you can hope to enjoy. With primarily local foods, which is either procured at our Cherry Street Farmers Market or grown at Living Kitchen, as many as thirty two people gather to enjoy seven courses on the screened in porch of a log cabin located on a 400 acre farm on old Route 66.

You’ll have to forgive me, I took only a few photos of the Lavender Farm Table Dinner. I was too busy enjoying the evening! But please, visit Lisa’s blog and the Living Kitchen website for further details about Living Kitchen.

Living Kitchen
Living Kitchen

Lavender Feast at Living Kitchen

During the wee hours of Sunday heavy rain fell on downtown Tulsa. One of the first things we did after waking was check to see if the Tulsa Tough races were continuing. The rain had passed and no more was expected – the races were on!

We walked down 15th Street to Riverside Drive and spent the day walking the course and watching the races from various locations. We could smell burning brake pads as the riders took corners. We tried to spot strategic moves made on long straightaways. We breathed heavily in sympathy just watching riders climb Cry Baby Hill, where the partying crowds cheered them on, ran alongside offering encouragement, or simply sprayed the riders down with a fine mist from hoses.

Tulsa Tough 2011
Tulsa Tough 2011

On the ride back to the farm in the van after the long weekend I couldn’t help thinking about Tulsa, my hometown, and how to some it may seem a bit too small to be called a city. But yet it does behave in a good many ways like a thriving city. It has a busy farmers market with over sixty local food vendors, it can host a KIP and a yarnbombing to share the love of fiber with the community, and it can pull a big crowd for a sport as unusual (compared to football say…) as bicycle racing.