Elegance with a touch of bitterness.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baby Knits

My nephew, Tim, and his wife, Michelle, are expecting their first child in October. When Michelle emailed me that they were expecting, I was thrilled. This is the first child in the family that lives somewhere where hand-knits are needed for more than a couple days a year, i.e. when you throw the kids in the car for a day in the snow. The rest of the family lives in the central valley of California, where Tule fog can settle in for months of cat-paw gray, not with the bone chilling cold that rain and snow bring to Maryland and Oregon. For years I have had pent-up baby knitting energy (especially little girl baby knitting) so, even though we don't know if a girl or boy is coming, I am defiantly leaning my knitting choices towards a baby girl.

The joys of baby knitting are many... small projects, fast knitting, fun colors and, as long as you don't make something too tiny, projects guaranteed to fit the child eventually. First on the list is a Vintage Baby Cardigan in Zinnia Sock. With just a touch of pink in the midst of yellow, orange, green and red, it will work for either a boy or a girl as long as you choose your buttons carefully.

Add frogs, not flowers, or maybe an i-cord inchworm crawling along the bottom edge, and you have a boy-friendly knit. You can make it simple, or even embellish it with all sorts of ribbons and buttons. Since I am closing in on finishing my Vintage Baby Cardigan before I see Michelle and Tim on Sunday, it time to run over to the Button Emporium for a treasure hunt. I will be sewing in the ends on my red-eye flight tonight. (You might just see me at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!)

After all these years of admiring baby patterns wistfully, I have a whole list of projects for TMB (Tim+Michelle= Baby). Jared Flood's Girasole in Butter Staccato for a Christening blanket, our Baby Leggings, the pullover from Shibui Baby, and maybe even the Shibui Baby Romper in Cranberry Sock for Christmas. I shall leave booties to other knitters, since they drive me to distraction, and wait to see about the little girl dresses until we have confirmation.

But that must wait until later.  I have to run and catch my flight now, in order to see all y'all at the MS&WF this weekend!  Until next time, ponder those baby knits.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dancing in Brooklyn

Many of you know that we distribute Jared Flood's patterns and those of you that don't should check out the “&more “ page on the website. Are there knitters that don't know of Jared or Brooklyntweed? It is hard to imagine considering the legions of fans that follow his blog and swamp store websites when his classes are annouced. His knitting insights are refreshing, his patterns are well written classics with elegant reinterpretation and his wit is entertaining. If you don't follow his blog yet check it out at brooklyntweed.blogspot.com
I have to confess I have had a thing Brooklyn boys since I dated Mike that went to Erasmus High and lived off Flatbush. He taught me to make the best egg creme on the West Coast and, yes, I use Fox's Ubet. I was three steps shy of infatuation before Jared and I started our email exchanges, and now his new patterns have me a little weak in the knees.

A few things happened this week that just got me doing a little happy Brooklyn dance. One Jared announced last week on his blog that he was wholesaling his patterns to LYSes through Shibuiknits and 5 LYSs had left me emails by Monday morning. The LYS in the Shetland Islands (yes those Shetlands) had sent me three.

Two Jared has just added a elegant cabled scarf called Dryad to the Brooklyntweed line. This scarf will knit up beautifully in Shibuiknits Merino Alpaca or, for a more easy care version, use Merino Worsted. It would be ruggedly handsome in Bark or Seaweed, classic in Ivory and cozy in Mulberry. Merino Alpaca needed the love and it is a great yarn to knit cables. Rumor has it that there are a couple of mitten patterns and a wrap on it's way too in the next few weeks.

The last thing that put the spring in my step was that Jared agreed to rephotograph all of the patterns knit in Shibuiknits yarns. Here is a little preview of what will be coming by fall. Habitat in Bark Merino Alpaca, Dryad in Ivory Merino Alpaca, Porom in Baby Alpaca Mist,( yes, it is a new color for BA) Girasole in Mulberry Sock and the Tweed Baby Blanket in Bark Merino Worsted with Mulberry edging. We will also be knitting second samples, too, in other colors to use for Shibui Trunk Shows. If any of you are considering having Jared come and teach a class or two, let me know and we can arrange to have a trunk show there at the same time.

It's been a good week so far and it is only Wednesday. This Friday I'll be the Lindy Hop down Avenue J in Brooklyntweed.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Step Gingerly

The big boy yarn companies have whole departments that figure out what each new book is going to look like and what patterns are going into it but here at Shibui we have a much more organic approach to creating. Every Tuesday we have our “Shibui Meeting” at our IKEA table with tea and lattes. It is a very small we: Darcy,(the owner), myself, Kristin,(our designer editor), Jenny,(our graphic/design anything person) and Sara, (web and marketing). We start out civilized by taking turns around the table, each telling what we are working on, but we soon errupt into “what about this idea”.

A few weeks ago we were talking about locations for the photo shoot for our to new pattern books, Shibui Luxury and Shibui Sock, that will be released at TNNA in June. Throwing out ideas like Jamison Park, Downtown, Park Blocks etc and each was greeted with some kind of “that won't work,” “thats been done”or “can we do that” when finally the clouds parted as Kristin's farm was suggested. Juxapostion is a big idea here at Shibui, and Kristin's farm sits right next to the Colombia and across the channel from Portland's industial port area. We wanted to move away from the sometimes sterile feel of studio shoots, so this was perfect. We have several Kristin's in the Shibui universe and Kristin of the farm works upstairs at Shibui's retail cousin, Knit Purl. In her spare time, she grows cider apples and raises gorgous long-curly haired cattle on Sauvie's Island about 30 min from Portland on the Columbia. No papers to sign, no cost and green rolling hills too.

So last week our meeting moved from the IKEA table to the cow pasture, because we had to see the new baby calf, check out the barn for location, and admire the espalier apples that were just starting to bud. I'm happy to say that everyone remained standing in the juicy cow pasture that is de riguer during spring in the northwest. Most of us are city girls or our farm days are a distant memory from our youth so we were all a little out of our element as we gingerly stepped around the cows and their deposits. I know I was giggling to myself about our rag-tag group and the cows though we were very interesting to look at too. I can hardly wait to see their curiosity piqued when we start shooting in early May. I'm sure there will be some great behind-the-scene shots to be shared that day too.

We would like to invite you to caption the photo of our little outing and the winnes will receive a gift of
Shibui yarn in one of our new colors arriving in June. Self deprecation is an art, so make us laugh.



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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