May 16, 2023
One of the things about my job that is both fun and a challenge is deciding the palette range I'll stock for any given yarn. The yarns we call "work horse" yarns frequently come in more colors than I have room to stock at one time--Ultra Wool has about 85 colors, Encore has 100, Malabrigo Rios has just over 90. And for those, I generally stock about two-thirds at any given time, and rotate through them all. Some yarns have broad, but somewhat smaller ranges--say 20 colors or so, and some limited-season yarns have much tighter palettes of 6-10 colors. In general, I work towards a balanced spectrum, with both warm and cool neutrals, and sometimes there will be interesting variations on that.
And then every once in awhile, I'm obsessed with a very specific, and slightly unusual idea, and this time Britta from Baby Cat Yarns was a more than willing accomplice. She specializes in semisolid colors only, and curates specific palettes as distinct collections. When I was thinking about an order, I kept circling back to her Grunge collection--which is twenty shades of near-black. Blue-black, purple-black, green-black, brown-black. And I didn't want to narrow it down, because they are all very special in their own way. And THEN I started looking at the Gentle palette--all muted lovely pastels. I emailed Britta to ask what she thought about combining them, and she thought they were perfect together, and we hatched a plan. All 20 shades from Grunge in 100g skeins, and 13 hues selected from Gentle, in 50g skeins. It's glorious, and I hope you love it, too. I photographed these under a combination of natural light and bright natural photography lights, I've added info about the undertones to the color names, and the full-palette photos are in the same order as the colors are listed (alphabetical), but the differences are subtle (especially for the dark ones). It would be a shame if you had to come in and see them in person 😉 See below for a few more details, and some pattern ideas.
Join us around the big table for a couple of hours of convivial stitching.
Our month-long challenge to commit to a few stitches a day to enter for prizes at the end is in progress! If you share what you're working on online, please use the hashtags #KnitOrCrochetEveryDayInMay, #KnitOrCrochetEveryDayInMay2023, #KOCEDM, or #KOCEDM2023
We'll be celebrating Madelinetosh on May 20th! We're planning for trunk show garments, we'll have free pattern postcards to share with purchase, and there will be a giveaway for a Bubble Wrap Cowl kit, along with a couple of one of a kind skeins of Tosh Merino Light.
We'll be sharing more details on May 18th! Mark your calendars, and stay tuned.
Weather permitting, we'll be moving Social Stitching out onto the sidewalk. Crocheting in public is also entirely welcome.
Beyond the color story, there's lots to love about Baby Cat Yarns fingering base. It's 80% superwash Merino wool blended with 20% nylon, and 2-ply with a nice twist. The 100g skeins are 400 yards each, and the 50g skeins are 200 yards.
As for pattern inspiration, my thinking was that these combinations offer a million ways to play with contrast--in striping, stranded colorwork, brioche, or mosaic designs. You can check out a few contenders in this Ravelry bundle.
I love checking out the color reports following New York and London Fashion Weeks. Most of us aren't wearing the very fashion forward looks seen on the runways, but elements of the styles, and the colors, eventually make their way into our daily life.
In the two palettes above, it's interesting to see how they intersect, but aren't identical. But there are warm brights in both, a dark brick-y hue, yellow-greens, and a pop of turquoise. For more images, see the New York color report here and London here. (And if you love color, there's all sorts of wonderful inspiration everywhere at pantone.com.)
The pattern release for the Basic Doodle Socks is planned for this Friday, May 19th, and while I can't show any *finished* photos before then, we are encouraged to share *progress* photos. You'll be able to find more pattern information on Pacific Knit Co's Instagram feed.
I am using Dream in Color Lamb & Goat, a super cozy wool and cashmere blend. I am under no delusions that these will be my hardest-wearing pair of socks, but they are on track to be my softest and squooshiest. I started with Dahlia and Hosta, but decided I wanted to add some additional contrast, so I brought Lichen into the mix. And once it was there, I couldn't resist a final touch that is a nod to my earliest days in retail--stay tuned for pattern release day for that!
Stay connected with our newsletter