Posts Tagged ‘Bumblebee Acres Farm’

Yet Again

August 16, 2019

A quick glimpse through my stash might lead you to conclude that I only knit with sock yarn. You’d be wrong but only somewhat.

Sock yarn is so easy to buy because I always know what I’ll make with it. As opposed to the two skeins of Tosh DK, one orange and one dark grey, that I bought several years ago in Maine. Or the lusciously soft merino-alpaca blend that I couldn’t resist but am paralyzed by choice when it comes to selecting a pattern, a dilemma that applies to just about all yarn in my stash.

Thank you for coming to my “Stash Psychology” TED talk.

The chevron pattern of Rita Taylor’s “Antigua” socks provided just the right amount of variety for the bright colors of Bumblebee Acres’ “Sansa” yarn.

close up of folded knit sock in orange, blue, green yarn

I made the leg longer than the pattern called for and included an Eye of Partridge heel, my favorite.

close up of folded knit sock in orange, blue, green yarn

They’re now wrapped in tissue paper and tucked away for a special December birthday.

two knit socks hanging to dry

Neither of my two current WIPs is a sock. How long do you suppose that’ll last?

The Answer to Everything

July 31, 2019

Apparently the Hitchhiker scarf got its name from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a book that I may have read at some point but have no recollection of. And I certainly don’t recall that, in the book, the number 42 is “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.”

What’s the connection between an asymmetrical, triangular scarf and this book? You may be wondering, as I was — although only the slightest of wondering since I don’t think too much about the origin of pattern names.

Turns out that the 150g of fingering yarn that the designer, Martina Behm, used when designing the scarf created 42 “teeth” along the saw-tooth border.

I’m guessing she didn’t know that before she started, which only adds to my admiration of her creativity that, when she finished and counted the teeth, she thought, “Oh, 42 teeth. That’s the answer to the ultimate question of everything, so I’ll name this scarf after Douglas Adams’ 1995 book,” which was based on a 1978 BBC radio comedy series, but that’s a whole different story!.

The saw-tooth edge reminds me of the spikes on a dragon’s tail, and dragons remind me of Game of Thrones (something else I’ve never read or watched), and that makes this the perfect pattern for a skein of “Daenerys Targaryen” Shimmer Sock yarn from Bumblebee Acres’ Game of Thrones collection.

Before the GoT collection was discontinued, I bought another skein, this one in the “Sansa” colorway. Hannah said she thought it’d make a great pair of socks for her. I expect she’s right, so I’ve started a pair of Antigua socks in a nice chevron pattern.

close up of knit sock in blue, green, orange yarn in chevron pattern

WIP: Hitchhiker

July 24, 2019

Having made two pairs of socks with the lovely Game of Thrones-inspired yarns from Bumblebee Acres Farms, I was a sucker for a couple more skeins before they discontinued sales. One here in Brienne of Tarth:

Although I don’t know the characters, I was pretty sure that the beautiful blues, cream, and slight silvery glitter of the Daenerys Targaryen colorway would be suitable for a very special soon-to-be-17 niece, who just happens to be a HUGE Game of Thrones fan.

I’m not sure how she feels about knitted socks, but I know she can rock a scarf — and not just in the winter. So I decided on the Hitchhiker. It starts with only two stitches and grows asymmetrically, with increases on one edge and a saw-tooth border on the other.

triangular knit scarf in blue white yarn hanging on grey shingle shed

The spikes remind me of a dragon’s tail. And I’m culturally aware enough to know that dragons feature prominently in Game of Thrones. And that Daenerys Targaryen is called, among other names, Mother of Dragons.

WIP Wednesday: Socks x 2

May 22, 2019

Not a pair of socks. Two first socks. You may ask why. I can only reply, why not?!

Before heading to Mom’s one recent day, I grabbed a ball of sock yarn from my stash and four appropriately-sized DPNs. This is Patons Kroy sock yarn, and I’m making one of my basic top-down socks — no cuff, just K3 P1 all around and then an Eye of Partridge heel flap.

On Mother’s Day afternoon, I found myself with an hour of down time in between time with Mom and meeting up with Michael. In a brilliant stroke of luck, I was very close to one of my favorite Boston yarn stores, Stitch House. Of course, I had to go in and look around. A skein of scrumptious Biscotte Yarns self-striping sock yarn called my name.

It seemed like a perfect fit for the 9″ circular needle that I’d bought a few months ago. When it comes to socks, I prefer double-pointed needles — definitely over the Magic Loop method, which I find too fiddly. But I’d heard several people sing the praises of a very small circular, so I decided to give it a try.

I’m not sure we’re a good fit. The stitches look great, but I found my fingers getting a little sore after about 10 rounds. Maybe I’m gripping too tightly?

Thanks to everyone who answered my call for help on the too-short Game of Thrones-inspired sock. I decided to just make peace with the two different lengths, a decision made easier because I’m not the one who’ll be wearing them! They’re blocked and tucked away for gift giving. [Lord Varys pattern in Bumblebee Acres “Missandei” colorway]

Out and About

April 15, 2019

No matter how cold, snowy, or long the winter, Spring always arrives eventually. And the glory of the season never fails to amaze and lift my spirits — and, based on conversations with friends and chats with strangers on the street, I’m not the only one.

Last Saturday, Patrick, Mom, and I drove to Castle Island — which is neither a castle nor on an island — for a couple of hours of enjoyment in the cool sunshine

From a bench, we marveled at planes taking off from and landing at the airport across the harbor, commented on the hundreds of people (and plenty of dogs) passing by on foot, scooter, stroller, bike, and wheelchair. We didn’t count, but I’d estimate that we overheard conversations in at least a dozen languages.

Being his usual generous self, Patrick stood in the very long line at the storied snack bar in order to buy our first soft serve ice creams of the year. Mom had a twist in a cup. Patrick and I shared a cone.

Back at Mom’s apartment, the knitting continues. Even as I was getting the hang of the House Greyjoy sock pattern, I had to suppress a nagging fear that it would be too small for the intended recipient. The leg looked so narrow.

Nevertheless I persisted, ignoring that inner voice of doom and reminded myself that yarn (like humans) usually relaxes after a bath. Sure enough, after a good soak and blocking on my new frame, it relaxed quite nicely, revealing the cable and twist details.

House Greyjoy knit sock

As usual, the second sock is progressing faster than the first although I still have to check each row with the pattern chart. If you knit cables or lace, do you follow a chart or row-by-row instructions?

marked-up pattern chart for knitting

GoT Socks?

April 2, 2019

I’m not a convert to toe-up socks, but learning several new techniques — and practicing my ripping out and reknitting skills — made the Frasier Fir Socks worth the effort.

two green knit socks hanging on sock blocking frames

The tree (or is it a branch?) detail along the leg is particularly charming. I may incorporate it into a hat some day — or maybe along the back of mittens. The yarn color is more true in this detail than the one above.

detail of pattern along leg of green knit socks

Even before I’d finished the Frasier Firs, my fingers and mind were eager to cast on something new with the lovely Game of Thrones-inspired yarn from Bumblebee Acres.

Keeping with my theme of trying new things and going full steam ahead into the GoT mode, I searched Ravelry for a similarly-inspired sock pattern. As usual, the Ravelry community did not disappoint.

Not being at all familiar with Game of Thrones, I have no idea if the yarn (Brienne of Tarth colorway) is compatible in a literary sense with the House Greyjoy pattern. But I really like the cables and twists.

All the twists and cables make it seem quite small — perhaps too narrow for the leg of the intended recipient — but I’m quite sure that it’ll fit. At least, it “fits” my arm when I’ve tried it on.

The irony is not lost on me that one of the benefits of toe-up socks is that you can try them on as you go, something that’s much more difficult with my favorite top-down socks on DPNs. I’m nothing if not consistent in my routines!

The Thrill of New Yarn

March 28, 2019

Like most knitters, I love to get new yarn. It can be downright thrilling. Can you relate?

Being an introvert and one who thinks a lot about motivation and emotion — mostly mine but also others’ — I have a theory about why new or stashed* yarn brings such delight.

All things are possible with new yarn.

I could make almost anything with this — that is, anything that’s possible with the amount of yarn I have. There are no mistakes yet, no dropped stitches or flubbed patterns. The yarn doesn’t split as I knit nor does it slip or snag. Nothing is too large or too small.

The potential for this — whatever this I choose — to be the most exquisite, perfect, wonderful creation that will bring joy to its recipient and all who encounter it is infinite.

Like these two skeins of Squishy Sock yarn from Bumblebee Acres Fiber Farm.

close up of two skeins of sock yarn in shades of blue, yellow, grey, and brown

They’re part of the farm’s Game of Thrones-inspired colorways. On the left is “Brienne of Tarth” and on the right is “Missandei.” I’ve never read or watched GoT, but both Kevin and Hannah are big fans. Before I bought the yarn, I consulted Hannah to see if these characters are good guys. Heaven forbid I knit with yarn inspired by a villain! She assured me that they’re not just good guys — they’re good women.

My plan is to make socks for Kevin’s upcoming graduation. Not that I expect him to wear them during the ceremony, but a mother can dream.

Even the packaging that arrived on my doorstep made me happy. How cute is this?!

mailing envelope with bright polka dots and label "You've got bee mail!"

Barbara introduced me to Bumblebee Acres Farm, having spotted their beautiful yarns on Instagram. Go follow them. Or better yet, go to their shop. Just to browse, of course.

At yesterday’s sock lesson, Barbara made great progress on her first ever heel flap — in the Eye of Partridge pattern no less.

close up of knit sock heel flap using eye of partridge stitch pattern

*It’s my experience that, at some point, yarn in one’s stash loses its thrill. It can begin to feel more like a nagging chore. “I’ve been stuck here in this drawer for ages. When are you going to use me?” I don’t know when that turning point is — when, as the great B.B. King sang “the thrill is gone.” Knitters, what are your thoughts?

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