b r o o k l y n t w e e d
September, for me, seems to consistently be a time for re-assessing my knitting direction. Time to circle the wagons, see what we've got after all that summer knitting and see where we're going. This year, as with last, it also happens to be the time when my schedule undergoes a rather severe change and I find I have new knitting needs that need to be met.

I've been floundering a little bit over the last week trying to transition from having the time and brainpower to work on intricate, detailed knitting, to striking a new balance with simpler, more intuitive projects. Things are still up in the air, but I did do a bit of spinning to help aid the confluence.

The Minstrel & I....

I pulled out a bag of natural brown shetland and set myself on auto-pilot. Lately more and more I've been craving natural, undyed sheepswool, and spinning this has been just the ticket for me in the last few days. As for knitting with it, I'm dreaming of some in-the-round knitting with steeks - something simple that shows off this beautiful wool. For now, though, I'm happy with endless plying.

Spinning Spinning Spinning

I've said it before, but Shetland is one of my all time favorite things to work with on the wheel. I think it gets lot of flack for being typically scratchy and unwearable, but I think it is quite the opposite - so light and lofty, it spins up into a yarn that is fluffy, soft and warm - not to mention looking beautiful. I never tire of it.

In other news, as I was trying to physically organize my knitting this week, I was able to collect up all my swatches from this summer into one place (they were stuffed in many a nook and cranny) (oh the places you'll go, little swatches!) and had to take a photo. Is this a way to measure progress?

The Things We Do For Gauge

I have a scarily low number of projects on the needles (that's a relative "low"). After having finished up some design projects that were needing attention, I realized I may be closer than ever to digging myself out of the deep ditch of WIPs I seem to have created for myself last year.

Oh yes, and the woolly lace is progressing without delay and should be all ready for the click of the seasons that I'm expecting here any day now...

Lace Lump

Until then, though, I'll be doing my share of knitterly spring-cleaning in hopes of reaching a balance which I can ride right into the thick of our favorite season for wool-wearing. It really is just around the corner.

That is an amazing collection of swatches. Just from this summer? I am impressed.

honey, that last photo makes my mouth water. it looks just like a yummy pie.

That yellow softness at the end looks delicious. Is it a hat? I feel like I should recognize it but don't. Whatever it is, I am coveting it!

all your swatchs make me think that you will knit more and more wonders, but it's somehow cruel to tease us that way, can't wait for the wool blossom

I was chilly today for the first time in months. Of course, it was before 6am and I was riding a scooter with no jacket, but I'm still hoping it's a sign that fall is on the way.

Love that yellow wool!

Here in Wisconsin, the weather has already been cold and fall-like for about a week. We're on the verge of turning on our heat (funny, considering that Labor Day was only one of two days this summer when the temperature was above 90). I, too, am highly anticipating the arrival of wool-wearing weather. I feel like we're not quite there yet.

Not to minimise what you're saying, mind you, but if I substitute my word 'weaving' for your word 'knitting'— it seems a parallel universe...

This yellow thing lets us expect you're going to strike soon? :-)

I hope you're right about the weather change being any day now. This will be my first fall in Brooklyn and I can't wait!

hi there! I like the design of your blog.. anyway, i just stubled upon here from google.. what can I say? I must subscribe to your feed =)

Lovely spinning and congrats on the Vogue inclusion too.... I am wondering if you can tell share with me about a good to great spinning wheel for a beginner. I am dreaming of learning to spin, and not satisfied with a spindle...and pretty awful at using one at that!

You've got me on a magical mystery tour...

I must agree with you on the subject of shetland. It is my favorite fiber to spin. I'm drawn to the natural fiber colors and shetland can be found in varying degrees of softness. I'm in the process of spinning 2 pounds of beautiful soft gray shetland fiber that I envision as a fair isle steeked sweater, with the addition of some white and black shetland. Your yarn is just beautiful.

Oh the yellow of that last lace project is perfection!

I totally agree with you on Shetland. It's easily one of my favourites. So quintessential "wooly". I just received an Alice Starmore kit and I'm in Shetland heaven.

Good luck on finishing all your wips. I'm doing the same. It feels good!

spring cleaning?...or fall cleaning? : )

It is true that the change of seasons reinvigorates knitting, isn't it?

Even your swatches look mahvelous, dahling. Can't wait to see what develops from them...!

i wonder if someone could *please* point me in the direction of a good definition for "shetland" wool. i just inherited some cones and am knitting lace for the first time with it, and am wanting to learn more about this fabulous find.

Even your swatches are beautiful.

As a beginning knitter (and one who hasn't gotten into the Zen of swatching for gauge), I would love to know your thoughts on swatching and if you have a strict and standardized process you run through with each project.


I just have to comment on your Shetland fetish! I share it. Lately, I've been spinning a lot of brightly dyed wool, at home and at work, and after a while, it just gets to be too much. I do, however, love Shetland. So down to earth and lovely (words that fit yours very well, by the way! Yum!). My favorite is Louet's black. There's something about that not quite black, but not quite chocolate shade, and with the added white hairs... well, if it was a person, I'd be glomping.

Beautiful spinning, and what a lovely shade!

Even your swatches are beautiful. So not fair.

What do you do with all of your swatches? You keep them all, I hope! Beautiful.

Oh the suspense of the yellow knitting is too much, you need to knit faster so we can see the end result ;-)
I agree that Shetland yarn is so lovely to work with, alas to wear it next to the skin is impossible for me... we are talking nasty rashes. I know a sorry tale. Thankfully though I can get away with Shetland jackets or cardigans on top of layers.

I just stumbled onto your blog and didn't even realize I'd bookmarked you last year for inspiration on a cabled scarflette I was making up! As a new knitter and native Northwesterner, I'm really glad to have actually found this blog, and will most definitely be buying some of your hat patterns before winter hits, for holiday knitting! Keep up the amazing fiberarts, and I'll keep reading. :)

Oh, how nice to see that you don't make humongous swatches. It seems like every recommendation I read advises swatches that get bigger and bigger. Not enough to knit 4"--must knit 8". Holy cow! I ditto the question above: a post, perhaps, on your method of swatching? How big? What are you looking for? Wash them? Block them? Tell all!

All those swatches are from this summer? I am impressed! I can't wait to see what you have in store for we readers this fall. I LOVE your hats and just wish they looked good over my giant hair. Maybe I should just knit one and try. :)

Wish I could spin, everyone is loving your sweater as I knit it, once it's done I may have to make another one for myself.

That yarn bobbin (1st picture) (it appears to be a bobbin... I could be wrong though; it's certainly happened before :D) is so beautiful, Jared! Do you have any more pictures of it? (My grandfather's favorite hobby is woodworking, and the love for woods leaked into my blood. :P)

This is just the way I like to wear hats, something yellow, beautiful, simple and warm ! I like very much to make it myself too ! (From France)

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What do you do with all of your swatches? You keep them all, I hope! Beautiful.

hi ... nice to meet u

Sei bella!
Ты красивая!
Ти гарна!

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