A New Yarn Tale: Mini Maiden

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I recently paid a visit to Black Sheep Yarns in Port Moody, BC, specifically on a mission to purchase, and only purchase, a set of circular needles. Black Sheep is a beautiful shop and I love looking at just about everything each time I visit. As often happens, I was suckered into taking a new skein home with me. I tried to resist its charms, but like the Borg, resistance was futile.

As I tried to be virtuous, there was this skein… she was a vision amid all the lace and fingering weight yarn in the display. I tried to lap the shop a couple of time to shake her, but I kept coming back. Finally, I picked up the skein and I knew it was the deal was sealed.

And what tempted me so badly? It was a skein of fingering weight by Canadian company Handmaiden Fine Yarn. Specifically, it was a hand-dyed Mini Maiden variegated skein in the Sugarplum colourway. The colours were glorious, a deep magenta, gold, and palest blue-green. The yarn also had a wonderful sheen, and as suspected, the yarn is half silk, half wool. Perfect! I am a total sucker for silk in yarn, believe me.

I came home and I needed to play with this yarn (and yes, in case you’re wondering, I also purchased the needles I set out for). It was necessary. So I promptly made a nice ball of yarn.

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I admired the yarn some more. It was delightfully soft. So soft!

Of course, by then I couldn’t just leave the yarn alone. A new design project came to mind… and it’s now incubating. I can’t wait to share the results with you soon.

I do wholeheartedly recommend picking up your own Mini Maiden to play with.

x Rena

 

 

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Spring Beach Update… Err, Knitting Update

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Crescent Beach on a crisp spring day.

I must get better at blogging more regularly. I promise I will. As is usually the case around here, things have been rather busy. But not too busy to get to my favourite beach for a walk or two. Getting outside and into nature always gives me new ideas, from colour to texture to shape.

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A riot of tulips.

 

I saw a garden full of tulips that was an amazing sight to behold. Truly there were tulips in all the spring colours filling someone’s back garden. I was delighted. In the centre of the photo lies a very large anchor.

ImageIn another garden, an anemone was in bloom, looking gorgeous. I can’t see anemones without thinking of being in Greece, which was the first place I had ever seen anemones growing – and in the wild, too. I think this anemone has really inspired me in terms of colour this spring.

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Also growing quietly in the same garden was a crop of mushrooms hidden behind daffodils. The mushrooms looked like they had been stretched and seemed somewhat mystical.

 

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Despite the serious expression (honestly, I don’t really like having my photo taken), I really enjoyed the fresh walk earlier in the month. If you look closely, I’m wearing my sample for the new Granville Hat, which will be released in early May. The hat kept me warm against the beach breeze!

Granville has been been tended to by my lovely tech editor and my wonderful test knitters. I’m in love with the nearly anemone coloured alpaca yarn by DROPS that I used to knit up the sample. I promise to blog more about Granville for its release.

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This photo is a clue for the secret project. Admire the Herdwick sheep.

My secret project is coming along well, too. I’ve finished the sample and the photography with the kind assistance of undisclosed helpers. The pattern is off to the tech editor and I’m aiming to release the hat mid-May. I’m pretty thrilled with the result.

The book project is also humming along. There will be a photoshoot or two in May to show all the pattern samples that will be in the book. I’m excited about this and trying to figure out some locations for the shots.

There’s always a few more things up my sleeve too. But in the meantime, enjoy the gorgeous spring out there.

x Rena

 

Spring Fever + Design Projects

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Well, I think the spring fever has hit around here. I’m in love with all the blossoming and growing things.

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There’s been a flurry of cleaning and organizing on the home front, and lots of work on the design front too. I have two hat designs for upcoming release this spring. One is a Top Secret project. Since it’s Top Secret, I can’t say much. Other than I’m super excited to be working with this company, hint hint. And I’ll be able to reveal what’s going on in a few short weeks, I promise.

The other spring project is in its final stages of pattern writing. Once she’s back from the tech editor, the hat will be ready for release within the next few weeks. Here’s a sneak peek…

The Granville Hat.

The Granville Hat.

And the Granville Hat isn’t just a regular sort of hat. It’s a convertible hat. As in, the top goes down for the good weather, ha ha. Seriously, though, it does turn into a cowl…

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The hat cinches up in the back with the most rock ‘n’ roll ribbons I could find, and the ribbons dangle nicely when Granville’s in cowl form (and do you like my sheepy t-shirt?). Granville has lots of texture and it’s a quick knit too. And it’s got plenty of style for you.

I have another, bigger, not quite as Top Secret project going on. I’ll let you in on that secret. It involves a manuscript and rhymes with ‘look’. I’m working on releasing several of my designs in booklet format, which is deep in the works right now. I can’t reveal too much more than that. I’m hoping for a release this summer, if all goes well. I always expect the unexpected with bigger projects.

I’ve also got several bigger designs in the works too. I’m working on some clothing designs in the pullover department, which will hopefully start to reveal themselves by summer to you. I think most designers usually have their fingers in lots of pie, which suits me fine because I love pie. And projects.

booth fibres west 2013

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Fibres West 2013 held last month in Surrey, BC. I had a great time. There were lots of pattern sales and lots of blog readers and Ravelry followers stopped by and said kind things about my work. I was thrilled to hear, ‘Hey! I’ve seen your stuff on Ravelry!’ Awesome. You guys make me tingle, really and truly.

The only downside to the whole affair was that I caught a bugger of a cold that weekend and was laid out for about a week. But I’m mended now and back on the projects…

x Rena