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April 17th, 2014

Hanger 1-5285

Snow’s gone this morning, except for what lingers (SO PERSISTENTLY) in a few shady corners and crevices.

The sun is out and Kestrel is here. (Wonderful!) We didn’t have much lead time for designing, but that’s okay because this pretty yarn lends itself to easy, swingy, drapey, QUICK summer knits.

Hamlin Peak-4582

Why Kestrel? Because we love Sparrow, and we especially love the fiber that it’s spun from–organically grown, Belgium flax. So, we thought, why not come up with another yarn that makes use of this lovely fiber, one with a personality quite different from little, round, fingering weight Sparrow?

Hence, Kestrel, a very different-from-Sparrow linen yarn. Kestrel has a ribbon structure, meaning it’s spun very fine and then knitted into a tube that’s flattened to make a yarn that looks like ribbon. One of the benefits of this flat construction is the way in which it shows off linen’s subtle sheen. It also has amazing drape and fluidity.

Urchin 2-5444



April 16th, 2014


Yes. That would be snow.

April 13th, 2014

Kestrel ball-5315

Announcing Kestrel!

This little bird has been a long time coming on a boat from Italy. Word has it that the boat docks in Boston tomorrow. With luck, Kestrel will soon be winging through customs and heading north to Maine.

It’s not that we don’t love Sparrow, our fingering weight linen. We do. We love it so much, in fact, that we wanted to develop another yarn spun from the same lovely fiber as Sparrow, 100% organic linen from Belgium. Like all second siblings, Kestrel has its own very different personality. The yarn is a smooth, flat ribbon that knits up quickly on needles size US 8 to 10 1/2 into garments with extraordinary drape and swing. And, like Sparrow, Kestrel has a subtle sheen and feels more relaxed and homey the more you wash and wear it.

We’ve been hard at work on a few quick garments to help launch the yarn. We had one bag of each color to work with. And now? Well, we’re pretty much down to one little ball.

But not for long.

p.s. That same boat is bringing us out-of-stock Sparrow colors, too, AND some brand new ones as well. Can’t wait to see them.



April 13th, 2014


Directional knitting is fun to work and intriguing to look at. It’s interesting to ponder the various ways in which you can send stitches at angles to each other. Anyone familiar with Elizabeth Zimmerman’s now-classic Surprise Jacket knows how repeating decreases in garter stitch can shape a simple jacket. And that’s just the beginning.

Jerusha Robinson’s Angela (Chickadee/Lichen) uses a simple construction of 2×2-rib panels positioned at right angles along the sides and at a raglan-kind of angle along the shoulders. The back, sleeves, and front raglan shoulders are worked as a single piece; the fronts are picked up along the edges of the back piece and worked from there. When you’ve finished knitting, the only thing to seam is the collar to the back neck. Nifty.


How might you modify this breezy piece if you were so inclined? You could work the sleeves to the wrist, for one. Or extend the fronts for more drape, simply by knitting more rows.

April 2nd, 2014

Rectangle blog-6522

From the first time we saw Karen Gelardi in her ‘uniform’ (Rectangle, above), we wanted to re-knit her top in Lark. Jerusha took the original, which was knitted in pieces and seamed, and re-worked it intarsia.

Rectangle blog-6593

She also added a textured stitch on the front’s (or back’s) bottom panel which mimics the ‘eyelet’s that Karen created, unintentionally, along the seams.

Rectangle blog-6584

Above, Abigail shows us the piece from the back. Note that it’s knitted side to side creating vertical lines.

Rectangle blog-6597

And here’s how the blocks meet at the sides.

We love Karen’s work. You might remember this tote that she designed for us from fabric adapted from one of her drawings. We’re after her to do some more.

karen tote

March 27th, 2014



We (Michele Wang’s Diamond Funnelneck and Chickadee/Goldfinch) are on the cover of the latest issue of Interweave’s  knit.wear.  Very proud to be front and center on a great magazine.

Michele loves textures (as we do), remember Wickerwork?  In Diamond, I particularly love how the stitch pattern goes to the very edges of the piece. Such a clean finish that way. Other elements I’m fond of: The boxy shape, easy and comfortable to wear, and the color,  in this case, Goldfinch. Doesn’t it pair well with gray?

We love the cover photo, but can’t resist the edgy (literally) one below. Love that it shows the room behind the room on either side of the faux wall.  Photo taken by Joe Hancock.


March 20th, 2014

Tern Email1

Ha. We’ve taken a few of our favorite pieces and re-colored them in new Tern colors. From the top clockwise:

Aisance/Popham, Dolores/Wheeler Bay, Florence/Beach Glass, and Mariella/Prouts Neck. Pretty, no?

We themed the names for our new colors from local bays and beaches. Prouts Neck is a rocky headland just south of Portland against which waves never cease to throw themselves. Just up from the rocks, on a windy plateau, is a small painting studio that Winslow Homer built for himself in the late 1800′s. Many years later, they’re still there, rocks, waves, and studio.

March 13th, 2014

I’m sitting at my desk and looking out the window. It may be mid-March, but there’s nothing in view to differentiate today from, say, mid-January. What do I see? Big coats, sloggy boots, hats with flaps, mittens, mufflers. Shoulders craning up around the ears. And snow.


Margaret Hugnagel’s long, cushy cowl below looks pretty good to me right now. And wrapping up in Puffin seems as appealing as ever.


If you’re thinking the same thing, consider a little late season scarf knitting. Join the Scarves 2014 knitalong hosted by Jerusha. If you live in the north, looks like you’ll have lots of time to wear a scarf/shawl/cowl before the daffodils make an appearance.

March 4th, 2014


You wouldn’t believe the proofing involved. I don’t believe the proofing involved.

We’ve just gone over the charts, one of us reading the words, the other following the symbols. Yup. Caught a few things.

But we’re closing in. Some teasers follow:

Brick road


Love the textures in this collection. Oh, knits and purls, let me count the ways.

And this year we incorporated our new yarn, the pretty Owl, in some of the pieces. And our at-long-last new colors, which we’re still enthrall to. For example, in the piece above, Belize, a clean Caribbean aqua and sedum, a wrong-side-of-a-fall-leaf red.


March 2nd, 2014


Remember that call for scarves way back? October, was it?

A lot has transpired scarf-wise since then. It takes a lot of work to put a collection of 14 pieces together. First the choosing (so hard), then assigning yarns and colors and getting the knitting underway. Once the pieces are completed, the patterns have to be written and tech edited and the scarves photographed. But before the camera goes click, we have to line up models who’ll show the scarves to their best advantage, choose clothes for styling, search for a good location with pretty light (easy this year), and secure abundant snacks for the big day. Then comes the magic–the book layout, done so niftily again this year by Carrie Hoge. Meanwhile there’s the on-going grunt work of pattern proofing, proofing, proofing.

Then. This preview. Such a joy to be able to say that we’re  just about ready to send this baby into the world.

May I introduce Scarves, Etc 2014?