Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Deep Comfort Wrap

Grief comes to us all at one time in our lives, some more than others. For knitters, managing grief means we distract ourselves with the comfort of slipping fiber over our fingers and round a set of needles to transform simple string into something both beautiful and practical. Last fall, grief struck my family so I turned to wool and wooden needles for pain relief, and as expected, the strain and pressure of sorrow was slowly relieved. While working my way through this difficult patch, a new design was born.

The Deep Comfort Wrap was designed with two characteristics in mind. The first was to feature a repetitive stitch pattern that would be very easy to memorize and/or figure out while knitting so that the knitter wouldn’t completely rely on the printed directions, and could continue making those soothing fluid motions. The second was to create a knitted finished product that would make the wearer feel like a warm hug from a dear friend. 
The wrap is worked flat from the bottom up and features a 3” edge of ribbing on either end. The body of the wrap has a slipped stitch edge and is worked in a textured alternating diagonal stitch pattern. 

I love this wrap and had an incredibly difficult time mailing it to Kelly and Erin from Three Irish Girls Yarn. It is the perfect snuggle-up-on-the-couch-with-a-good-book wrap - warm, inviting, and heavenly to the touch. This design was part of Three Irish Girls' Eunice's Choice subscription in March 2015. It featured Vivie Alpaca Silk- possibly the loveliest yarn on the planet - not too itchy and super soft with fabulous drape qualities. 

I love the colorway too - May the Road Rise to Meet You. I could not have picked a better name to go with this yarn.  My mother had a cross-stitched picture of this famous Irish blessing in our kitchen when I was a child. My great-aunt read this poem aloud at my wedding ten years ago. It represents the deep love and comfort that family and friends share.

If you think you may have seen this wrap before, that is because it was on display at the Three Irish Girls' trunk show at Harps and Thistles Yarn Emporium and at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival in March.  

This pattern is now available for individual purchase through my Ravelry store.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Back from TNNA

This weekend, I attended the TNNA trade show in Columbus, Ohio. What is TNNA? Well, friends, pull up a chair and prepare to be jealous.

Waiting for the doors to open.

TNNA stands for The National NeedleArts Association. In the summer they have a trade show which gives yarn companies (think big like Universal Yarn and small like Fiberstory), notion companies (everything from bags, scissors and yarn caddies), and designers to share new and popular products with yarn shop owners. Designers who attend these shows go to see the products too, brainstorm new ideas, make great connections, and of course catch up with fellow crafty friends.

 Andrea Sanchez, me, Andi Smith- I have no idea what I am trying to do with my shoulders in this picture?

This was my first time attending the event, and boy, was it fantastic!!! I was introduced to so many talented designers, saw some BIG names, met a really positive book editor, petted the loveliest yarns, and chatted with incredibly friendly yarn reps. Best of all, I got to spend time with two designer friends who showed me the ropes.


On this trip I met the owners of two companies that were new to me: Kismet Fiber Works and Fiberstory.

I was blown away by the presentation of Kismet's booth- so creative and so inviting. I could not stop myself from reaching in and squeezing the beautiful yarns. Here are two pictures of just one feature from their beautiful booth. Also, Stephanie, one of the co-owners, was so enthusiastic about supporting designers-- loved her attitude.

Their Sleek DK is something I hope to knit with in the near future... now I just need to think of something to make! Plus the co-owner I met could not have been nicer.

Sarah, the owner of Fiberstory, displayed a booth full of "Meg colors" lots of gorgeous tonals and subtle shades. This sweater was the first item to catch my eye. Wishing I remembered the name of this pattern, but it was made from the squishy Lush Aran I believe.

 Sarah had the loveliest gradient sets too... I think she said there were 7 colors to a set, which makes for a more subtle shift of color. Very very pretty.

I am MOST excited, however, to knit with the skein of Cumbria given to me by Kate from Kelbourn Woolens. Kelbourn Woolens distributes the heavenly yarns from The Fibre Company. (Remember when I made this sweet top with their Canopy Fingering?) This is their newest worsted weight yarn made of 90% wool and 10% mohair. It is earthy, strong, inviting to touch, and has a little halo/loft as well (thanks to the mohair). I foresee some texture stitch patterns in its future.

Other great moments include chatting with Verity from Baa Ram Ewe, Elizabeth Green Musselman from Dark Matter Knits, Michelle Miller from Fickle Knitter, Sarah White from, Allyson Dykuizen from Holla Knits, and Candy from Stackpole Books.  All in all it was a fun (yet exhausting--- oh so much walking- and not in sneakers) trip! Next year it will be in Washington, D.C. Fingers crossed that I'll be able to go!