free patterns for Vintage Kidsilk Haze

There's a new yarn in town, Rowan Vintage Kidsilk Haze.  Vintage is similar to KSH in almost every way: same content--70% kid mohair/30% silk, and same yardage--229 yards, however Vintage stands out with it's more prominent white silk core that when knitted, has an antique, vintagy look.  It's really quite beautiful.  KSH is one of Rowan's core yarns and is always at the tip-top of my yarn favs list so seeing this reincarnation made me very happy.  As with all Rowan Selects yarns, Vintage comes with a small bundle of free supporting patterns.  The patterns are timeless and elegant; the very best way to showcase this very special yarn. The patterns are available for instant free download on Ravelry!  YAY! Of course, all the patterns above can be knit with the original KSH, my favorite yarn to knit and wear.  Enjoy!

Instantly download the free patterns here.

 KSH Vintage is being shipped to your local store today.

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vintage octoberfest

I want to share some photos from a party we attended last Saturday--our dear friend Karen's annual Octoberfest.  This has always been an outdoor party and in the 25 years she has been hosting this much-loved party, rain has never fallen on Octoberfestday.  Until Saturday.  Rain was forecast for the entire weekend and boy, did it came down.  Not that a soul in California would ever complain about rain, mind you.  Karen's house was beautiful and inviting with fires lit in every fireplace, but in October, rain or no, we are not quite ready to give up our outdoor living.  So instead we clustered under the eaves and marveled at actual water falling from the skies. 

One thing is certain, Karen loves to have her friends over and goes out of her way to make it special.  Everything was perfect for the evening with twinkling lights and candlelight, warty pumpkins, good friends, welcome rain, and delicious homemade food.  Life is good.

Octoberfest Menu

Wine and Beer
Assorted Cheeses and Nuts

Assorted Grilled Sausages with a variety of Mustards
Green Salad
Hot German Potato Salad

Apple Strudel

At the party I was chatting with a group of girlfriends who were all wearing sweaters.  With big winks, they all made a big point of asking each other if they had knit their sweaters--but no one asked me.  Very funny, girls!

And since I'm on the subject of sweaters--I finished my sweater using Ysolda's Blend One, Batch One.  Heaven!  I hope to share it soon, plus a few more I've finished.

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bits of fall

This month we are having two groups of out of town guests to stay and next month we'll be hosting a small party.  Since I get the heebie jeebies over most Halloween decorations, this time of year I avoid all that and try to make my home look more cozy instead of scary.  I brought out the vintage wooden Coca Cola crate/wagon and kitted it up with some pumpkins and pine cones.  I then pulled out anything that looked even slightly fallish--my peculiar bright orange tray, some stone pheasants, and my much loved (beat up) verdigris leaf platter.  I'm so happy with my pretty pumpkins.  It's terrific that non-traditional pumpkins are so easy to find these days. It wasn't that long ago that anything like a Cinderella pumpkin in a pale shade of burnished copper could only be found for big bucks at farm stands or specialty markets. I bought those beautiful pumpkins at my local supermarket!

The bright orange tray above is from ibride.
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The Barn Jacket

Hello!  I feel like I haven't been here in so long, but I just looked at my last post and it was written only 10 days ago, so not so long after all!  But it does show how much I love this little space and love that you pop over to give me a read.  Thank you so much.  Today I have the Barn Sweater by Carrie Bostick Hoge from her Madder Simple Pleasures 2 book. 

Here are the details:  The model: As busy as she is with school and crew and a dozen other activities, my lovely model and neighbor, Jessica, never hesitates to come over and play dress up with me!  Thank you dear girl.  She looks so darn gorgeous in everything.  I was waiting to post this until I could get a photo of me wearing it too, but that hasn't happened, so you'll just have to trust me, we look the same in it!  Hee hee.  (Don't ask me how my tall, thin, teen-aged neighbor wears the same size I do, but she does.  There's some kind of magic in knitted fabric.) The book--LOVE this book and think I will end up making every project. It's a great book to have in the "classic knitting patterns" section of your knitting library.  :)  The pattern--well-written instructions, simple to knit and easy to wear and just a great all-around jacket to have in the wardrobe.  The yarn--sigh, what can I say about a fantastic vintage Rowan tweed?  Rowan has always been tops with tweeds. This beautiful watery blue-green has been in my stash for at least a decade waiting for the most perfect project. For me, Rowan Yorkshire Tweed DK knits up as a worsted weight, not a DK, with a very soft but hearty hand with fabric that has the mellow, textured tweediness that we love in a tweed.  Also, it's next to the skin soft.  Now for the sad part, it was discontinued ages ago!  You can still find a wee bit; there's a small selection in the sell section on Rav.  If you want to make this jacket in a yarn that is easier to find, the recommend yarns are Terra from The Fibre Company or Owl from Quince & Co.   I haven't tried either but have another suggestion with a yarn I have used and loved:  Pioneer from A Verb for Keeping Warm.  It's fantastic yarn that I'm using for Liv, another pattern from the book.  See you soon and have a good week!

PS:  For those who have requested Gingersnap in toddler sizes--hold tight, it's in the works!  

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Gingersnap Kits

I'm happy to report that my Gingersnap baby sweater pattern has been really popular! I'm just thrilled that so many cute little Gingersnap sweaters have appeared on Ravelry!  I'm also thrilled that my local yarn store, Uncommon Threads, in my pretty little hometown of Los Altos, California, asked me to choose colors for their new Gingersnap kits they were putting together.  I chose to anchor all the kits with Granite and Soft Cream, then had fun choosing four modern and sophisticated colors for baby.  Any of the color choices would make a gorgeous sweater--and all, except for perhaps the Raspberry, would work for either a boy or girl.  The kits include three skeins of machine washable Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted in your color choice plus the pattern, all nicely kitted up in a Rowan organza project bag.  All you'll need to supply is the buttons and the baby!

Click HERE to shop for the kits.

Gingersnap, get the free pattern here.

Pick your own colors of Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted.
I like the look of mustard and toffee too!

Rowan Yarns showcased Gingersnap in their newsletter.