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Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

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Meet Caspian and Audouin, new heathered brown birds in Chickadee.  What makes these new colors special is that they’re blended completely from undyed wool. Our gray heathers are spun from white and dyed black fleece (“black sheep” are really brown) to make pretty shades of gray. For these brownish guys we used naturally brown fleece, from black sheep, with white.

We love the warmth and softness in these new shades. They’d be pretty by themselves and superb as a warm background for color work. Don’t you think?

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Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

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Melissa LaBarre had just released Willard, a swingy open cardigan with a large, cozy collar. So very much in time for fall.

Love how the collar extends below the hem of the sweater and how it widens at the neck. Great texture stitch, too. So neatly etched knitted in little Finch. Color is Camel.

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Thanks, Melissa!

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

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Scarf season is on its way. Just about time to burrow one’s nose in a cozy circle of wool around the neck. So. We’re announcing our fourth Annual Call for Scarves (ACFS).

The past three years, we’ve asked you to submit ideas for the perfect scarf. Each time you’ve sent us wonderful ideas. So bring them on again, please. Tell us about your perfect neck piece.

Is it a cowl that circles the neck in dramatic textures? A simple skinny rectangle long enough to go around the neck three times? Is is a triangle that cossets the neck and shoulders? Show us your idea(s), be it (they) original and wacky, classic and comforting, sophisticated, cute, textured, colored, cowled, wrapped, shawled, short- or long-ended. What we want is the scarf you want to live in. And one that’s relatively easy to knit (we think scarves should be comfort knitting).

So, please–send us your design(s). We’d love to have your submission by Tuesday, October 7. If we accept your idea, we’ll get yarn to you pronto and hope to see your finished piece by November 28. You’ll get to keep your scarf when all is photographed and done (it tours in a trunk show), and we’ll pay you, too, for your design.

Please submit your ideas via email to info@quinceandco.com. Scan your swatch and sketch (rough drawing is fine) and put SCARF in the subject line. No need to use a Quince yarn in your swatch, we’ll get the idea and, if we accept it, we’ll send you a Quince equivalent. Questions? Email us at info@quinceandco.com.

Okay–come on! Let’s see those scarves!

 

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

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If you don’t mind a little shameless self- and Quince promotion, please take a look at the latest issue of Amirisu, in which we are featured. A great honor. Thanks to Meri Tanaka, Amirisu editor, I had the opportunity to talk at length about  Quince & Co and our experience (hopes, dreams, frustrations) making yarn in the US, a subject close (close, close) to my heart.

Also in the magazine are lovely sweater designs in Quince yarn by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Hannah Fettig, Carrie Bostick Hoge, and Mary Gehling. Such great company to be in! Every sweater shown in the magazine is one I’d want to wear and all anticipate the pleasure of pulling on a cozy layer when days turn cooler. Keep reading.

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Love Olga’s cardi (called Abuku, ‘bubble’ in Japanese). The pattern (worked in Chickadee/Belize) with its pretty perforated collar stitch is a variation on the stitch-theme she used in Circles and Dots, her collection of sweaters and accessories in Q yarns. One of the many things I love about knitting is how one idea can lead to so many others. A stitch pattern can lend itself to hats, yokes, front (and back) panels,  collars, all kinds of things, taking on a new personality with each new application and color–as Olga’s Abuku demonstrates so beautifully.

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Here’s the cover sweater, the perfect warm-you-up cardigan (Forest) in Owl/Hemlock by Carrie Hoge. Lots of cushy garter stitch with a generous collar.

Mary

Above, cozy Into the Woods, designed in Osprey/Honey by Mary Gehling.

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And so pretty in Osprey (Frank’s Plum, this time) is Mayu by Hannah Fettig.
Thanks, Meri and Amirisu, for featuring us in your lovely magazine. And thanks, too, to Mary, Hannah, Carrie, and Olga for great sweaters.
Issue 5 is available in print and individual patterns are on Ravelry.

 

 

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

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Not long before Quince & Co launched, over four years ago now, Melissa LaBarre and Cecily Glowik MacDonald agreed to do a small collection of sweaters and accessories in Q yarns. That collection became Wool One. Yesterday we released the fifth in their wool series, Wool Five. As always, the sweaters included are simple to make but feature knitterly interest in the way of tidy cable panels, a knit-and-purl border pattern–that kind of thing. The accessories, this time a textured cowl and pretty beret, are ones you’ll wear day after day this winter. You might want to make them in more than one color–for fun or for gifts.

I don’t know about you, but much as I’ll miss long days and balmy nights, I don’t mind the advent of shorter days and colder temperatures. So welcome is the return to needles and wool. For you, too?

 

 

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

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Deneise Kemp (cabinfour on Ravelry) sent us a picture of her socks called Laule’a that she designed and knitted in Lark/Glacier. Couldn’t resist showing you. I love how pretty they are in light blue.

Deneise calls these bed socks and they were inspired by Karen Templer’s post on house socks. (Not all socks are made for walking.) The pair took two skeins, and on a size 6 needle, they worked up at five  stitches to the inch.  For other color options with the same airy look, she suggests Iceland, Chanterelle, and Petal. For a richer autumn palette, try Honey and/or our new Bosc.

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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

At Quince & Co., we’re always on the lookout for like-minded makers to collaborate with. When we came across J.M. Generals, it was love at first sight. From values to aesthetic to goats (!), we had found a kindred spirit.

Less than a year later, we are introducing our first collaboration – natural soap and lotion, made with goat’s milk (US goats of course). In the words of owner Jeffrey Monteiro, “Goat’s Milk is packed with naturally occurring vitamins, fatty acids and minerals that soothe, nourish and cleanse skin without the need to artificially add chemical ingredients to achieve these effects in soap and other products.”

The lotion and soap come in a scent developed exclusively for Quince, “Castine”. The scent features a refreshing blend of orange, litsea (a kind of evergreen), bergamot, and rosewood essential oils.

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Jeffrey has a lengthy resume in the fashion world – his design director credits ranging from Derek Lam to Bill Blass. Starting J.M. Generals was an exciting departure for him. Below you’ll find a brief interview with Jeffrey about the experience, and what J.M. Generals is all about.

  • Why did you start JM Generals?

After many years of working in fashion (an all-consuming industry), I wanted to develop a range of products that reflect my values of co-operative, inclusive and ethical design and production.  I work directly and collaborate with producers, makers and artisans to explore the interests I have in product design, across various design disciplines.

Through the online store at J. M. GENERALS we develop products that are substantively designed and thoughtfully produced. We have a thorough knowledge of the provenance of the materials we use and every step of the production process, and are very conscious of the impact these products have not only in our daily lives but the larger one around us.

  • Why is American Made important to you?

It’s crucial to keep techniques, values and craft traditions in existence. I find the process of working collectively with local producers, handcrafters, small industry and artisans very rewarding.  To be able to exchange knowledge and experience in a supportive and nurturing process is a way of keeping production sustainable, no matter the size or scale of the industrial process.

  •  How did you go about finding Cashmere in America? It’s not exactly easy to come by.

I was looking into American-produced fiber and yarn to work with (primarily wool and cotton) and learned about the existence of American Cashmere producers. I started talking with and meeting many of these producers and was fascinated about the process, and impressed with the quality of the fiber. The passion these producers put in to cultivating quality and fineness of their cashmere fiber is very inspiring. Also seeing the care they take in raising the goats to produce the best fiber encouraged me to explore ways and methods to be able to design products using their precious and beautiful fiber.  I have spent many hours learning about the processing from raw fiber to yarn, and continue to work with producers and mills to process the fiber in my product design.

  •  Do you think that the American cashmere production industry will get to the point where, say, Quince could make a yarn with American cashmere?

I do believe it could get to the point where American Cashmere production will be available to yarn producers such as Quince and Co. The quality of American fiber is exceptional–American Cashmere is produced for a high crimp in the fiber and for fiber strength, not just micron and staple length. The crimp in the fiber adds loft and lightness, allowing fiber to be spun into fine yarns and into heavier plies. The fiber micron and staple length range means the fiber has less breakage and therefore there is considerably less pilling in products produced from American Cashmere.

In certain parts of the world where cashmere is produced, the animals are starved in order to force them to produce more fiber, so they can try to keep themselves warm. It results in poor-quality fiber, and the harsh synthetic chemicals used to clean and process it further weaken it. This leads to short staple length and fiber breakage, which are the major causes of pilling.  The biggest challenge is having American Cashmere processed to a specific standard here in the U.S. There are not many mills/facilities that can process cashmere at a consistent level, and it’s a delicate, precise fiber that needs special attention. You begin to realize that is why cashmere is historically expensive–unlike the cheap cashmere that comes from maltreated, starved animals and hastily processed without care, true, high-quality cashmere has an inherent value.

  • Was it as hard to find the Goat’s milk that you use in your products? What does it add to the products?

Goat’s Milk is fairly readily available due to the increase in popularity of Goats Milk food and body care products and there are many dairy goat farms throughout the country.

Goat’s Milk is packed with naturally occurring vitamins, fatty acids and minerals that soothe, nourish and cleanse skin without the need to artificially add chemical ingredients to achieve these effects in soap and other products.  The cream that is naturally in Goats Milk is very moisturizing, and in general it’s very beneficial to people with sensitive skin. I have very sensitive skin, and the J. M GENERALS Goat’s Milk products are the only products I use myself.

  •  You helped us create a special scent just for Quince: Castine. It has notes of orange, litsea, bergamot and rosewood. What types of scents do you usually gravitate toward?

I like fresh, woodsy and earth scent notes as well as light floral and bright citrus. There aren’t really many scent notes I don’t like; it’s more about getting the balance right in a blend, the alchemy, I like to think, that makes a scent that is special, unique and memorable. I think Castine is a combination of these elements. I like its fresh citrus top notes, bright middle notes and balancing fragrant wood base notes.

  • What’s next for JM Generals?

Exciting new product lines! We are developing more woven products using some Quince & Co. products, and more felted cashmere products for the Fall/ Winter collection. We are also developing more body care products coming this fall, and we’re constantly improving and refining and adding to our existing line of products.  A lot of research, time and care goes into what we make, so we are happy and proud to introduce new products to our customers.

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Stormbreak cover

Cecily MacDonald has just released Stormbreak, a new collection of lovely knitwear.

From her blog Winged Knits,

The 7 patterns in Stormbreak are: an open cardigan with pockets and a big collar, a quick knit bulky cardigan with 3 buttons at the top and a little colorwork detail, a short sleeve scoop neck tunic with simple cables, a hat with a rib and lace brim, a quick, simple textured bulky cowl, a wrap that may be worn as a cowl, hood, or pulled down over the shoulders, and a pair of fingerless mitts with long cuffs and lace panels.

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Stunning.

 

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

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It must be summer. We haven’t blogged for oh so long. Please forgive the lapse. We’ve been taking advantage of the warm and sunny weather, while we have it.

Now, with shorter days and cooler nights, we’re thinking about knitting again. And we begin the new season with–tada!–a Quince app! A very Quince-specific app to help you find a Quince yarn to fit your every gauge-need. Would you like to know which Q yarns knit up at 4 stitches to the inch? Or 4½? Or 5? Okay. Easy. Turn to your iphone.

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Open the Q app, spin to your target gauge, click…

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and up come the options, all the Q yarns that knit up to your number.

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Tap on the thumbnail to select a yarn and scroll through its colors.

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Then check the photos of sample projects to see how the yarn behaves at your specified gauge.

The story: It’s been a year or so since our friend Cyrene Slegona first came up with the app idea while savoring a Thai dinner with us. (Another wouldn’t it be great if… conversation. Thanks, Cyrene!)

From there the idea went to Freeport Metrics, a local web software development company. We’re grateful to Elizabeth Smith at FP who contributed her tech savvy and her knitting skills to the project. And to Daniel Piltch and Andrew Gauvin at Freeport Metrics for generously taking on the project and creating our lovely app.

A well-deserved plug: Freeport Metrics is a local web software development company and IT consultancy with teams in Portland, Maine, and Warsaw, Poland. They develop mobile and web applications for established companies (that’s us now!) and start-ups.

So download our app (iOS only right now, sorry Android users!), take it for a spin, and let us know if there are any more features you’d like. !

Friday, July 11th, 2014

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Our location. Just a few feet from this sign, the wrong side of the sign. Shhh. But who could resist that sea of Rosa Rugosa?

There’s photographer Emma Sampson (below), knee deep in flowers.

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Shooting Ashley (below).

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Note the perfect evening light: Soft, golden, deep shadows, and a bit of mist. A photographer’s dream and rare to come by. 

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By the way, that shawl is Lostren, not yet published. But will be soon.

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Emma checks photos with Ashley. Let’s see. Did we get it?