Many people think of spring as the season of renewal. I tend think of fall as the season of new.  It’s probably a holdover from school days, when fall meant new clothes and new shoes, new teachers, new books, sometimes a new building and always new classes and new things to learn.  I still think of fall as a freshening breeze, crisp days and cool nights, crunchy leaves and Siamese-cat-eye-colored skies, renewed vigor and, of course, the beginning of knitting season.

Have you thought of new projects for the coming year?  Turtlenecks are making a comeback – love them or hate them?

Big cable knits are still everywhere.

 Tunics are still being shown

but there are a few shorter styles.

Color work is popular – graphic intarsia as well as stranded or striped.

 

 

Classic fisherman rib is always popular

and can also be not-quite-so-classic:

All the images above are from Nordstrom’s website.  If you want to spend $450 – 1200 on a sweater, you can have them, no knitting involved!  I use their website for inspiration for what I’d like to make this fall.  We all have different body types and issues, but for me, I’m reluctant to wear big chunky tunics (I look like the Hobbit) or turtlenecks that are too high or bulky (a hold-over from my hot flash era) or big graphic images (not wanting to come off as the side of a really short barn).

I would like a shorter cable knit, though, and I’ve always liked this one, which I think is a good transitional style for fall.  I would make it as shown, in Luma, Fibre Company’s wool/organic cotton/silk blend:

or this nice little gansey :

in Plymouth’s DK Merino Superwash.

I also like this one, maybe scaled down a bit:

in Ella Rae’s Classic Sport, a nice woolly kind of wool.

I wouldn’t mind a turtleneck this year, as long as it wasn’t too overwhelming. I’m old, so I have neck issues along with my hot-flash PTSD.  Maybe this:

because it’s done in lace weight and the collar is loose.  It would be incredibly yummy in Road to China Lace.

And this looks wearable and comfy:

I may experiment with two strands of Lang’s Lusso (coming soon to the shop, with wool/silk/camel/mohair- yum!) held together.  Debby Andrews is currently knitting this sweater in Lana Grossa’s Arioso, which will be absolutely lovely, too.

As for colorwork, I love the sweater that Karen is going to be teaching this fall – more about that next time! – and I also love this light little striped pully.  Some color packs of Fino are coming soon and I think this would be fabu using one of Fino’s lovely semi-solids along with a color pack:

Fisherman’s rib really is classic, but it’s a time-and yarn-intensive stitch.  How about this cute capelet instead, in a rich color of Worsted Merino Superwash?  Or I might try it in one of my favorite combinations, Fine Donegal (wool/cashmere) held together with Herriott Fine (baby alpaca/nylon), tweedy and lush all at the same time:

There are so many things to get excited about for fall…can’t wait!

 

 

These last few cooler days have prompted me to think about what I would like to have for the coming season.  Even though it’s going to get hot again in a day or so, my fingers and toes are feeling a bit chilly this morning, reminding me that my favorite gloves, knit years ago from Mountain Goat from Mountain Colors are wearing a bit thin in the fingertips.  I’m wanting a new pair in some bright color.  These are so pretty

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and these (from Veronik Avery’s book Knitting 24/7) are just beautifully classic.

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Cable-knit sweaters are big (sweaters are big, both in popularity and in size!) so I’m working on one now, in Kathmandu Aran, a lightly textured blend of merino, silk and cashmere.  Cozy to wear, delightful to knit, it’s due to hit the shop this week in about a dozen colors.  My sweater is based on this pattern,

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with a few mods (as usual).

I want this sweater

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in a couple of colors.  This photo has been on my desktop for months; I thought about it for a summer sweater.  Thank goodness I didn’t knit it for summer – it has been too hot for any sweater in any weight.  It’s an old Tahki pattern and I have no idea where it’s from, but it’s a simple design and I might just make a pattern for it.  I love a basic sweater in a pretty color that can be thrown on over jeans or black pants, and I’m out the door.

I’m contemplating a wonderful wrap in several colors – I have a mouth-watering array of magenta-through-hyacinth blue colors

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coming in Silky Wool this week, I just can’t wait to see them – and want to make something along these lines:

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or this:

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And for little Maxwell the Great (Nephew), I want to make a few pairs of socks for those long skinny little feet, a cute hat or two, and some thumbless mitts with a long string in between that can thread through sleeves so they don’t get lost.  Another 8-Hour Baby Blanket might be in order, with a bit of extra length to keep him covered and cozy.

Plus I have 2 must-finish-or-rip projects that have been hanging around and nagging at me way too long.  A resolution must be found!

So, what are you planning?

Okay, many of you are too young to know the reference of the title.  In olden times, there was a TV cowboy named Roy Rogers who was married to a TV cowgirl named Dale Evans, and every week at the end of their show, they would sing a song that ended with the line “Happy trails to you, ’til we meet again,” which all of us little cowboys and -girls would sing along with them.

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(Dale and Roy with Trigger)

I felt like singing this little tune when our Trailhead knit-along ended this week- we had been together since January working on this project!  The design was interesting and challenging the whole way through, from choosing the combination of fibers and colors, the intricate shaping and cable charts on the back, through the unique pocket details and significant amount of finishing required.  Although several sweaters are still in the finishing phase (the fun part, as I call it), these beauties are done:

Jill Pelcher was the first to finish in her beautiful blues. (No, there was no prize for being the first.)

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Donna Hain chose a combination of reds to make a beautiful and vibrant brick fabric:

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Deb Hawk loves the rich browns and subtle accent colors of the combination she chose:

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Love them all!  We had a wrap-up this past week.  Only about half of us braved the ridiculous bitter wind to come, and I managed only one semi-decent photo – really, I should take a class, right? – of our finished pieces.  Virginia Griffith’s sweater is the beautiful neutral of my shop model and looks wonderful, plus she brought a pretty little cupcake bouquet for us!

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Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the knit-along; it was a pure pleasure for me to see the projects coming to fruition!

Meanwhile, I’m finishing up summer models and trying to get the spring and summer classes on line.  I’m hoping that by this coming weekend, the schedule will be finished.  Lots of fun small projects to keep you knitting through the hot weather, if it ever comes!

Spring is here this morning and I hope it’s not just a quick visit.  Today I just want to show you beautiful colors, either fresh out of  the box, because all I want to do is play!

This is our shipment of Nuna, a lovely wool/silk/bamboo sport weight yarn from Mirasol.  Look at the vibrance!

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We love it, and used two colors of it for Itineris last year.  This year I made Therapy using Jilly with Cashmere plus one color of Nuna and one of Folio.

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It’s simple to knit, but it’s really my favorite shawl that I made this year, mostly because of the colors.  So, of course, I had to see what I could put together, and here are some combinations I came up with, without even trying!

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The one in the center is very similar to the shawl I made, but I love the others, too.  I may make another Therapy just so I can take one home.  A perfect spring project!

More colors of Folio, an alpaca/rayon blend, also showed up, and these can be used instead of Nuna to lower the overall cost of the project.  It’s a pretty yarn and plays well with others, so you can hold it together with another yarn to add shine and softness without spending a fortune.  Keep it in mind for those yarns you might have in your stash that look so pretty but feel so scratchy!

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I know many of you have seen this little cardigan hanging in the back room, patiently waiting for the yarn to come in and the pattern to be written!  I love this little one; it would be perfect for a day like today, sunny and just getting warm.  This is the Raleigh Ridge Cardigan:

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It’s a top-down one-piece raglan-sleeve in a ridge pattern stitch that gives it a little texture, so it would look great in a solid color as well.  I gave it minimal detailing because the pattern stitch and color are all that is needed.

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 I also love the colors of the yarn, which make it wearable with so many summer things.  Three great colorways to choose:

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The pattern is ready and will be free with purchase of yarn to make it!

More to show, but I have an appointment to buy more yarn this morning.  Later…

 

I’ve been indulging myself for the last few weeks, knitting things that I’m interested in instead of things I think other people might be interested in.  I’ve been a bad LYS owner, but a happy knitter.  It’s kind of fun to do this if you’ve been knitting gifts for other people or virtuously finishing up projects that you’ve lost interest in.  I’m rewarding myself for getting my tax stuff off to my brother-in-law the accountant.  Every year, starting New Year’s Day, I obsess until I have all the information together and feel like celebrating when I send it off.  I’m celebrating with a nifty little pullover from Heidi and Anna Pickles, a Norwegian design and yarn duo.  I liked this sweater

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as soon as I saw it  – I’m a sucker for tidy little pullovers and liked the little standup collar, the contiguous shoulders,  and ribbed sleeves.  I had Shibui Pebble and Cima at home in the color Brass. Held together they made the gauge easily and the fabric is both cushy and sturdy.  The project is indulgent and just for me because the pattern, although available in English – sort of – is written for Norwegians, who learn to knit in the womb and need very few instructions. We Americans like everything spelled out in detail, so it’s taking a little trial and error at certain points in the pattern to get things looking right.  This is how is looks so far, with shoulders done and sleeves started:

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and with all the ribbing and size 3 needles, it will look very much like this for quite a while. That’s okay, though. The combination of yarns is wonderful and I’m enjoying every single (infinitely long) round.

I don’t think I ever showed you the finished fluffy pink jacket I made over the holidays (all of them; it took a while and there was a lot of moaning as I recall).  It’s Flaum from Amirisu Magazine, Issue 8, Fall 2015.  I used a lovely shade of Arioso from Lana Grossa and just love the way it turned out, now that I’m over the immense amount of ribbing.

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And look at the way the very adorable pin that Andy Watkins gave us accents it perfectly.  Thanks, Andy!  Caution: There are errata for the pattern so if you have the magazine, be sure to look them up on Amirisu’s website.  I hope that if you buy the individual pattern from Ravelry, the corrections will have been made, but be sure.

One more thing to show you:  New knitting bags!  I’m excited to have these exclusively in the store.  Kathy K. is a local sewist.  She collects used jeans and uses them as the main fabric, then adds fun fabrics and embellishments to the front of each bag.  I love them!  Kathy designed them to be strong, comfortable to carry and very functional.  Every one is unique, beautifully pieced, with sturdy stitching, a magnetic closure, and a covered wooden stabilizer in the bottom.  One large inside pocket holds your patterns and/or tablet, three small inside pockets hold all your accessories. The double straps are denim outside and lined with the complementing fabric.  I’m happy to be able to offer them at $95 each.  Here are a few of the bags that we have in stock, and Kathy can also do special orders!

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(I’m not showing you my favorite – it’s little smaller and has a PINK floral lining – it may come home with me!)

See you soon!

Pantone has pronounced that a combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue are the color(s) of the year for 2016.

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Can color inspire us to behave better or drive us to murder?  2015’s color was Marsala, the color of dried blood – and the world has had a very bloody ugly year indeed.  If everything we see in stores, on-screen, and online is baby pink and periwinkle blue, will we have a sweet year full of peace and compassion?  I hope so!

In the meantime, I love the two colors and the lovely soft violet in between them.  I must have been channeling Pantone because I have begun a nice little jacket from the cover of Amirisu Magazine in a soft and floaty pink shade of Lana Grossa Arioso that just kills me I love it so much:

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I’ve barely begun because I’m wanting to finish another sweater I’m working on in Frabjous Fibers Mad Hatter that I should have to show you next week but I had to knit just a bit and I’m in love with the yarn, color, and design.

I showed you Trailhead, our winter knit-along, and I want to show you how great it looks on Loretta Hollenbach, who tried it on during our sale, then immediately bought materials for it.  Thanks, Loretta, for modeling!

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It fits perfectly and she looks terrific in it, but I have to tell you that it looks good on almost everyone (who is taller than 5′).  A lot of people tried it on and it’s a very flattering sweater, cozy but not bulky.  Come see for yourself!

How is your gift knitting going?  Well and quickly, I hope.  17 days to Christmas, and I assume you also have a life to live in between knitting sessions?  If you would like to check out some utterly unique gift ideas, we’ve just put out many samples for sale – scarves, shawls and sweaters!  These lovely pieces are priced very reasonably because they’ve already served our purpose (we sold out the yarn), so don’t wait too long!

We are drawing names from our Frequent Buyer cards every day in December to win a $25 gift certificate.  The winners this past week were Leigh Glenn, Linda Michael, Carol Sullivan, and Jane Brubaker.  Congratulations!

Are you a knitting addict or a yarn addict?  I am both.  If I couldn’t knit with fabulous yarn, I would (and have) still knit with anything that came to hand – dishcloth cotton, acrylics, packing twine… well, I haven’t knit with packing twine but if that’s all I had, I would.  On the other hand, even if I couldn’t knit for whatever reason, I would still want beautiful yarn around me to touch, cuddle, gaze upon, gloat over. Picture Scrooge McDuck chortling with unadulterated glee while gold and jewels run through his hands – er, wings. A luscious skein of yarn is better than gold to me – lush, rich, and full of potential.

So I am never happier than when the two addictions are satisfied all at one time in one fabulous project.  Truss,      a new design from Shibui, which will be released next month with their Fall/Winter line, is such a project.  Two wonderful yarns are combined throughout to make a truly luxurious fabric.

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 Maai is a lovely combination of super baby alpaca and merino in a fluffy chainette that is unbelievably soft.  Pebble is a blend of recycled silk, merino and cashmere that looks like a rather dull lace weight, but when knit, adds texture and cashmere-y yumminess to all it touches. Together they make this heathery, lofty, heavenly combination:

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And when blocked, Truss drapes well, has cushy warmth, and holds its shape:

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I made a few modifications to the pattern.  It has two versions, a short and a long, and I split the difference between the two to customize the length.  I also made the front just a bit shorter than the back,

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and did a minimal neck rib instead of 3″, since I will no doubt be wearing it with a turtleneck underneath just as I’ve shown it here.

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Love this project, it fulfilled all my knitting desires!

Meanwhile, we received a shipment from the Fibre Company, and there’s hardly anything better than full shelves of Road to China Light and Acadia.  Come see while we have this fabulous selection:

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Karen’s Better-Than-Basic Pullover model is complete, and it is gorgeous.  It’s just the simple shape and cozy fabric that everyone wants to wear in this kind of weather, with great classic style that is so easy to pop on over anything – trousers for work, jeans, a skirt & boots – it’s so versatile and in a flash you’re ready to go, no need for another thing. I love this version, with a soft funnel neck and mid-length:

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For a basic sweater, it has some sophisticated shaping, with short rows in a couple strategic places that mean the shoulders and sleeves aren’t huge 80’s-style, and the back hangs straight.  You can see the pretty little fluff of Luxury Tweed Aran in this shot, too:

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I have to say that if this was in my closet instead of hanging in the shop, I would be wearing it right this minute. (Stinking freezing rain – we need some comfy/cozy today!)

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There is still space in the class and if you’re ready to start your sweater-knitting adventures, this is the class for you!  Check out the projects on Ravelry for other lengths/necklines available.

I finished the knit-along sweater this week, too, and despite the color being a little dull, I really love the way it turned out.  I have some dreadful photos, and I’m sorry, but I don’t need to entice anyone to join the KAL because it’s full already! So get ready because these are bad and your eyes will hurt if you stare at them too long:

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Whew!  That last one is like those computer-generated images that if you stare at them long enough, you’ll see another picture.  (If anyone spots a fire-breathing dragon or anything, let me know.)

Anyway, the sweater came out just great, the cables nicely flattened like they are designed to be, a good warm fabric and a good traditional feel to it.  I’m excited for everyone to get started.

Just a heads-up that there could be a blip on the website and blog in a week or so.  We’re going to be switching over to the new design.  Janelle (of Design Revolution) assures me that it will be seamless, and I’m sure that it will be on their part, but there might be a teensy-weensy learning curve on the part of yours-truly, so bear with me.

Meanwhile, Jack will be sporting a new sweater this week.  Come in and tell him how darn handsome he is!

But first, I have to show you a little of Hawser.  I’ve been working like crazy so that I will soon have a completed body, then just the sleeves and neckline to do.

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It’s been a real pleasure working with this wool. (I’ve been knitting spring models for the last month or so – they’re pretty and so useful, but never as nice a knitting experience as wool.)  The yarn is going a long way so there will be hardly any ends to weave in – none, if I would remember to spit-splice – but this color, from my stash, is so basic (it’s darker than it appears here) and I really want yellow!!  So I may order some and make it again as we knit along.  Reminder, if you’re interested in the knitalong and want to order Nature Spun in the exact color you crave, you must sign up by the 10th (this Saturday!) so that I have time to order and the yarn has time to get here by the 25th.

Okay, on to your projects – so many pretty things!  First, Janet’s Mitered Felted Bag class.  Here they are working on putting their bags together prior to felting:

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And here are some of their bags after felting:

Carol Quigley’s bag:

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Beth Endy’s bag:

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Maggie Kappenstein’s Bag:

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Great work! I hope we get to see the rest!

Donna’s Fabergé shawl class also produced beautiful end products.  Here are just a couple and I hope to see more:

Jettie Hunt’s shawl:

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And the detail so you can see the beaded slip-stitch overlay:

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And Patty Golembiewski’s shawl:

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And the detail:

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Lovely!

Bev Kapelski promised to bring in her Fabergé but in the meantime sent this photo of mittens she completed for her husband.  My only question is: Are they putting up the tree or taking down the tree?  Did she get them done in time for Christmas or did she just miss it?  Either way, he looks happy!

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Donna Hain finished her Natsumi from Karen’s class, and she looks so darn cute in it, doesn’t she?  If I’m not mistaken, she had plans to make another one for someone else.

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Anne Alderman just took up knitting again, and after making a little sweater for a grandchild, she finished this pretty number for herself:

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And Robert Angstadt, who is a weaver, brought in a very pretty scarf he wove from Taiyo Sock and a hand-dyed bouclé he found here.  It came out beautifully, didn’t it?  Love the twisted fringe.

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Thanks to everyone for letting me take pictures, or sending them to me.  It’s inspiring to see what you all accomplish.  You’re awesome!

 

But first, I have to show you a little of Hawser.  I’ve been working like crazy so that I will soon have a completed body, then just the sleeves and neckline to do.

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It’s been a real pleasure working with this wool. (I’ve been knitting spring models for the last month or so – they’re pretty and so useful, but never as nice a knitting experience as wool.)  The yarn is going a long way so there will be hardly any ends to weave in – none, if I would remember to spit-splice – but this color, from my stash, is so basic (it’s darker than it appears here) and I really want yellow!!  So I may order some and make it again as we knit along.  Reminder, if you’re interested in the knitalong and want to order Nature Spun in the exact color you crave, you must sign up by the 10th (this Saturday!) so that I have time to order and the yarn has time to get here by the 25th.

Okay, on to your projects – so many pretty things!  First, Janet’s Mitered Felted Bag class.  Here they are working on putting their bags together prior to felting:

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And here are some of their bags after felting:

Carol Quigley’s bag:

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Beth Endy’s bag:

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Maggie Kappenstein’s Bag:

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Great work! I hope we get to see the rest!

Donna’s Fabergé shawl class also produced beautiful end products.  Here are just a couple and I hope to see more:

Jettie Hunt’s shawl:

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And the detail so you can see the beaded slip-stitch overlay:

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And Patty Golembiewski’s shawl:

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And the detail:

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Lovely!

Bev Kapelski promised to bring in her Fabergé but in the meantime sent this photo of mittens she completed for her husband.  My only question is: Are they putting up the tree or taking down the tree?  Did she get them done in time for Christmas or did she just miss it?  Either way, he looks happy!

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Donna Hain finished her Natsumi from Karen’s class, and she looks so darn cute in it, doesn’t she?  If I’m not mistaken, she had plans to make another one for someone else.

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Anne Alderman just took up knitting again, and after making a little sweater for a grandchild, she finished this pretty number for herself:

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And Robert Angstadt, who is a weaver, brought in a very pretty scarf he wove from Taiyo Sock and a hand-dyed bouclé he found here.  It came out beautifully, didn’t it?  Love the twisted fringe.

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Thanks to everyone for letting me take pictures, or sending them to me.  It’s inspiring to see what you all accomplish.  You’re awesome!