My middle son (Twin One) has left on the adventure of a lifetime. Along with his most excellent girlfriend, he’s in the process of hiking the 3,000 km length of New Zealand. They started at the northern tip of the North Island and will end at the southern tip of the South Island. They expect the excursion to take five months.

Now, I have enough trouble packing for two weeks and I can’t imagine fitting everything that will be needed for five months in a single frame pack. The kids were undaunted. Below are photos of the clothes, etc. they laid out the night before they left. In terms of clothing, they each have one pair of shorts, one pair of long pants, three shirts, three pairs of socks, a jacket, and rain gear. I can certainly learn something about packing light from them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’re each taking three pairs of hiking shoes, but they’ll send two pairs ahead of them to post offices in towns that they’ll pass along the way. Without food (which they’ll pick up along the way), their packs weighed about 28 pounds each. Once they add food, they’ll be carrying close to 40 pounds each. Good grief, I have trouble limiting myself to a 50-pound suitcase when I travel and stay in a hotel and eat in restaurants!

Just look at those huge smiles as they said goodbye to us at the airport. Oh, to be young!

My husband and I are going to meet up with them at the northern tip of the South Island in December. I think they’ll welcome a chance to sleep in clean sheets, shower, and have a few meals at a restaurant. I’ll welcome the chance to see that they’re safe!

A new episode of Fiber Nation has been posted. Sponsored by Interweave and hosted by my personal friend Allison Korleski, this professionally produced podcast uses a storytelling format rather than a straight-up interview to detail subjects of interest to fiber enthusiasts.

The new episode, called The Donner Party and the Doll chronicles the travels of 8-year-old Patty Reed in a wagon train along the Oregon Trail in 1846. Among her few possessions, Patty had a diminutive (about 4″ tall) doll, named Dolly. Other than the crude handmade dress Dolly wears, there’s nothing particular remarkable about this wooden doll, except for one thing: The wagon train that Patty Reed and Dolly were traveling in became known as the ill-fated Donner Party.

Click here to hear the fascinating story of Patty, Dolly, and the Donner Party.

Click here to subscribe to Fiber Nation on iTunes (click on “Listen on Apple Podcasts”, then click on “Subscribe” at the left of the page, under the Fiber Nation logo.

My friends at River City Yarns in Edmonton, Canada, have put together another Advent Box for 2019. The box contains 24 individually wrapped gifts, marked with a do-not-open-before date. Each day of December you get to open a package to reveal a skein of River City exclusive yarn, a special pattern or project kit, a tasty treat, or an indispensable tool. Every year River City Yarns creates a new set of treats: so far, there are no repeats. The photo here shows a variety of knitted trees, just one of the gifts from a previous Advent Box. I can’t tell you how delighted I was last year to discover one treat included a skein of yarn and the pattern for my Peaks and Ridges Cowl. This year I’ve designed something new that will remain a secret until its designated date.

If you don’t live in the Edmonton area, you can order your box online at rivercityyarns.myshopify.com/products/rcyadventbox2019. The quantities are limited, so don’t wait. The boxes will begin shipping October 27; in-store pick-up begins November 9.

Last year I had the terrific opportunity to be part of Knit Stars 3.0: North Stars Rising, the brain child of Shelley Brander of Loops yarn shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I taught how to cut and finish steeks with a zipper or buttons. I had a blast filming the segment and am honored to have been included in the impressive group of stars.

This year’s Knit Stars 4.0: I’ll Alpaca My Bag will take you to new heights in Peru, weaving together the stories of the Pacomarca Sustainable Alpaca Network and the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco, whose mission is to aid in the survival of Cusqueñan textile traditions and to provide support to the indigenous people who create them.

You’ll then east to discover how non-profit Manos del Uruguay is working with rural women to provide jobs that are more than an income, but also an opportunity to develop personally, gain independence, preserve their roots and traditions, and remain close to their families and community.

And you’ll criss-cross North America, from Nova Scotia to Oregon and everywhere in between…learning the stories of knitters and crocheters, designers and dyers…all united in their passion for the craft and their desire to spread the joy of creativity.

In all, there will be 11 informative episodes, many of which include an exclusive pattern:

  • Pacomarca – Preserving and Celebrating the Andean Way of Life
  • Martha Wissing – A Chullo-Style Hat
  • Lucy Neatby – Two-Color Double Knitting
  • Susan B. Anderson – Seamless Toy Knitting Techniques
  • Cecelia Lalanne – Hand Dyeing the Manos Way
  • Blue Sky Fibers – Adventures in Cabling
  • Andrea Wong  – Portuguese-Style Knitting
  • Hannah Thiessen – Slow Knitting, Natural Dyes, and Mending Knits
  • Marly Bird – Crochet Mending
  • Diane Ivey – Guide to Moving Forward: from Social Media to Building Inclusive Communities
  • Caitlin Hunter – Traditional Colorwork, Reinvented

It’s good to know that Knit Stars is deeply committed to diversity of all kinds – race, ethnicity, religion, sexual identity, gender identity, age, geodiversity, and the inclusion of people with all ranges of ability, many of whom are unable to travel to access inspirational teachers. Year after year, Knit Stars will continue to strive toward shining a loving spotlight on teachers, dyers, and thought leaders across the broad and beautiful global spectrum that is the fiber universe.

Open enrollment begins this Thursday, October 24. Don’t procrastinate — enrollment closes in just 7 days: at midnight Pacific Standard Time on Thursday, October 31.

Click on the following link https://knitstars.com/a/4441/qzGWw9gQ to register.

Let’s knit this world together!

 

 

 

Designed for my Fall 2019 Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, The La Jolla Shores Cowl features yarnover increases and directional decreases in a modified Old Shale pattern. To me, the scalloped pattern represents clusters of flowers, which are all so abundant in Southern California.

The pattern repeats over 17 stitches and 12 rounds and is easy to memorize if markers are placed at the end of every 17-stitch repeat.

The fingering weight yarn is a luxurious blend of merino, cashmere, and nylon in a bright pink colorway specially dyed for the retreat participants by Yarning For You, located in nearby San Marcos, California.

Both charted and written instructions are provided.

Use the code LAJOLLA to receive 20% off the Ravelry purchase price of La Jolla Shores Cowl between now and midnight Mountain Standard Time on Friday, October 18, 2019.

It’s been a couple of weeks since my Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, and I’m already missing all the new friends I met and the old friends I got to see again.

My event coordinator Cindy Hallam and I were joined by international teachers Nancy Bush (from Salt Lake City), Andrea Rangel (from British Columbia), and Veera Valimaki (from Finland). I think I speak for all of us by saying what a delight it was to spend some time in warm sun before returning to cooler weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a special treat, Jeane DeCoster of Elemental Affects was on hand as the Style Doctor to help retreaters determine the optimum styles for their particular sizes and shapes. We all learned a lot about proportions and balance. Thank you Jeane!

Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank my most excellent helpers Rhonda Croxon and Chonita Olivas, who ensured that the retreaters were well taken care of and cheerfully solved any problems that cropped up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next next Knit For Fun Retreat will take place in historic Savannah, Georgia. April 23 – 26, 2020. The three teachers will be cable expert Norah Gaughan (from New Hampshire), lace expert Elizabeth Johnston (from the Shetland Isles) and yours truly (from Colorado). The basic registration package includes one class with each of us.

Registration is now open!

 

In response to the popularity of my adult-sized Goat Herder Pullover, I’ve reworked the design in fingering weight yarn for baby and toddler sizes, and named it Junior Goat Herder Pullover.

Like the adult version, the body is worked in rounds from the hem to the armholes where wide ribs give way to a chevron pattern worked with twisted stitches (no cable needle necessary!). The upper back and front are worked separately in rows to the shoulders. Stitches are picked up around the armholes, the sleeve caps are shaped with short-rows, then the rest of the sleeves are worked in rounds down to the cuffs. There are no seams to sew!

The pattern is written for four sizes: About 17 1/2 (21, 24, 27)” (44.5 [53.5, 61, 68.5] cm) chest circumference to fit 3-6 (6-9, 9-12, 12-24) months.

I used Emma’s Yarns Practically Perfect Sock yarn (80% superwash Merino, 20% nylon; 400 yards (365 meters)/100 g) in the color Beach Please on size U.S. 2 (2.75 mm) needles at a gauge of 8 stitches and 10.5 rows/rounds per inch.

Use the code JUNIOR to receive 20% off the purchase price of the Junior Goat Herder Pullover on Ravelry through midnight Tuesday, September 17.

Join Norah Gaughan, Elizabeth Johnston, and me next April at my Knit For Fun Retreat in Savannah, Georgia!

We’ll stay at The DeSoto, which overlooks Madison Square in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District.

Check-in for the retreat will begin Thursday, April 23, followed by a welcome dinner. Classes will be offered Friday and Saturday, and the retreat will conclude with a farewell breakfast Sunday, April 26. As a departure from the normal Knit For Fun Retreat schedule, you’ll have more time in the evenings to explore the historic district, including a night to eat at one of the local restaurants.

As with all Knit for Fun Retreats, you’ll get one three-hour class with each of three first-class teachers, as well as lots of fun and surprises!

Norah will teach Knitting Two-Sided Cables; Twisted Stitches; Knitting With Linen; and Knitting A Patterned Yoke.

Elizabeth will teach Shetland Lace Tips and Tricks; Steeking; Fair Isle Cuffs, Ribs, and Trims; and Shetland Lace Shawls.

I’ll teach Intro to Sweater Design; Fixing Knitting Mistakes; Custom Socks At Any Gauge; and A Skirt For All Seasons.

Registration opens at 10:00am MST today!

Click here for details and to register.

 

 

Designed for my Fall 2019 Knit For Fun Retreat in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, The Mont Tremblant Cowl features cables and directional decreases in a diagonal pattern that makes me think of ski and snowboard trails in the snow.

The relatively simple pattern repeats over18 stitches and 6 rounds. The yarn, a delightful DK-weight blend of 90% superwash merino and 10% silk was specially dyed by Canadian dyer Julie Asselin in a colorway inspired by the blue water of Lac Tremblant and named Knit For Fun.

Both charted and written instructions are provided.

Use the code TREMBLANT to receive 20% off the Ravelry purchase price of Mont Tremblant Cowl between now and midnight Mountain Standard Time on Friday, August 30, 2019.

This summer I had the opportunity to visit Kraemer Yarns mill in the small town of Nazareth, Pennsylvania.  There, they accept bales of fleece, card it into roving, and spin it onto huge cones of beautiful yarn. After experiencing the heat and high noise levels first hand, I have enormous respect for mill workers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The yarn that’s sold in the on-site store is only a fraction of what Kraemer Textiles produces. The bulk of their business is custom spinning yarn for industry, including apparel, carpet, home furnishings, industrial, and craft. Perhaps the most notable of these is the yarn they produced for the unforgettable hats and sweaters that Ralph Lauren designed for the athletes in the 2014 Winter Olympics!