Archive for the ‘A Verb for Keeping Warm’ Category

Treasures from Verb

August 1, 2011

It’s no secret that I love A Verb for Keeping Warm‘s yarns, and I live close enough to A Verb for Keeping Warm’s brick and mortar store that I can go there on a semi-regular basis. This is dangerous and wonderful all at once. I want ALL THE YARNS! Luckily, I have some small modicum of self restraint, and I am holding off from buying ALL THE YARNS until I’ve used up some of the yarns I already have. That doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten to play with Verb yarns in the meantime, though.

This year, Verb started its first yarn (or fiber) club, complete with four shawl patterns by four designers. I was designer number four, and I got to knit in the lovely and amazing Verb Floating, which is a delectable blend of alpaca, silk, and cashmere. Seriously, this stuff makes kitten fur feel like sandpaper. The color was an exclusive club shade of gorgeous corally pink, 2 Gems and a Pearl. I am not usually a fan of pink, nor do I think it flatters my skin tones, but Kristine managed to dye this yarn a pink that looks great on pretty much everyone. I have no idea how this is possible, but there you go.

I was excited by the fact that Verb is a local to me company, and I sought inspiration in the bay. One of my very favorite lace patterns is the one called Split Leaf in the first Barbara Walker treasury. Although I know it is an ostensibly arboreal pattern, I’ve always thought it looked more like scales. I also adapted an umbrella themed stitch pattern to create what I thought looked like a seashell edging. Fish scales and seashells, but the end result actually looked more like the architecture of old movie palaces than something sea related. The name of the pattern, Grand Lake, is after the beautiful old Grand Lake Theater in Oakland.

Getting to use such a luscious yarn and getting to work so many of my long held favorite ideas was a treat. Thank you so much to A Verb for Keeping Warm for including me in this first club!

The other Verb related object I have to show you is this Felicity hat knit in Verb Toasted.

I am the last knitter in the universe to make the Felicity hat, but it seems to be universally flattering to everyone. I love this hat so much and I will wear it often this winter. The color is Tidepool, and it is so so pretty. It reminds me of a smouldering volcano more than anything. I think I messed up the decreases of this hat somehow – mine certainly do not look like the ones I’ve seen in other people’s photographs – but I still love how it looks and wears. My husband told me I looked like a whaler and then a Jacobin on the day I finished it, and I’m choosing to take both remarks as compliments, because this is one damn cute chapeau.

What’s next for me in Verb yarn? I don’t exactly know, but I have this terribly inspiring skein of Creating just waiting for me to come up with something!

Arcadian Shawl

May 25, 2011

Arcadian Shawl modeled 1

I’m very happy to be able to release the Arcadian Shawl! This has been one of my favorite projects to date, helped in no small part by the beautiful yarn from A Verb for Keeping Warm. Seriously, if you can knit this in the suggested yarns, I highly recommend it, as it’s a rewarding experience. And what’s more, if you hurry, the Alpaca Silk is May’s Dyer Special from Verb! I think the natural dyes really make something special with this shawl.

Arcadian Shawl nasturtiums

Arcadia, before it was a city in Southern California, was a region in Ancient Greece. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Arcadia became a concept, an idealized fantasy of perfect unspoiled rusticity. In the imaginations of western Europeans, Arcadia remained pristine, utopic, populated by happy shepherds and beautiful shepherdesses. The Arcadian Shawl is so named for its own faux rusticity, in which gorgeous luxury yarns are transformed into a simple but beautiful wrap. The lace edging for the shawl requires very little yarn, making this a great project for using up leftovers.

Arcadian Shawl detail

SIZE
Small: 55 inches wide, 18 inches long (shown in Small)
Medium: 63 inches wide, 20 inches long
Large: 78 inches wide, 25 inches long

MATERIALS

  • 1 (1, 2) skeins A Verb for Keeping Warm Alpaca Silk Yarn 70% Alpaca, 30% Silk; 310 yds per 112g skein for MC – shown in Magic Bean
  • 1 (1, 1) skein A Verb for Keeping Warm Metamorphosis 70% Superwash Merino, 30% Silk; 385 yds per 115 g skein for CC – shown in Nugget
  • U.S. size 6 (4 mm) 24” (or longer) circular needle
  • tapestry needle
  • stitch markers

GAUGE
16 sts/28 rows = 4 inches in stockinette using Alpaca Silk

Tech edited by Lauren Cross

Buy it now for $6.50 US.

Verb

October 11, 2009

When I say that I have a wonderful husband, I mean this: I have the sort of husband who calls me from work to say, “Honey, I passed a sign on my way to work that said, ‘Yarn and Fiber’, so I stopped off to see what it was, and it’s the store for A Verb for Keeping Warm!  You’ll love it – I’ll take you on Friday!”

So on Friday, we took a pilgrimage to the land of beautiful natural dyed fibers and got to poke about and see all the lovely colors all in one spot.  This, by the way is a very cool thing.  It’s one thing to see some of the yarn on its own, but when you see it in the shop, all stacked and painted and beautiful, it’s amazing.  We also got to talk to the owner, Kristine, who is just the nicest person, and who is supremely talented in the ways of fiber and color.  (Also, though this is not appropos of much, Verb has my favorite logo of any yarn company.  I am a sucker for good typography.)

It’s cozy in there, as one might expect, and the yarns…oh my.  Kristine told us a little about the various conditions that affect naturally dyed yarns, which is just fascinating.  Whether the water is alkaline or not can affect the colors that the dyes produce.  You can read more about her process and ideas on the About Us page at Verb.  The dedication to the natural dyes pays off when you see the beautiful and almost antique appearance of the yarns and fibers.

It’s not just the dyes, either.  Verb sells yarns spun from undyed wool from sheep raised in Oregon.  The Farm Series includes a favorite fiber of mine, Jacob wool, which I have to admit is not one I’ve actually used.  I still claim it as a favorite, though, because the Jacob sheep is about the coolest looking sheep on the block (having anywhere from 2 to 6 horns), and the fiber feels amazing.  And someday I will knit with it, dagnabit.

Of course, I didn’t leave empty-handed.  I went with something specific in mind.  I won’t be starting for a bit yet, but I have a shawl idea floating around in my head in two sizes, one in lace weight and one in fingering weight yarn.  I have the lace weight, so I went looking for fingering weight, preferably in a light, antiqued shade.  I got a skein of Creating sock yarn in Elephanta, a lovely pink/grey yarn that fit the bill perfectly.  You are probably aware that pink is not usually one of the colors I’m drawn to, but the image of this shawl has always had one version in pink in my head.

I’m hoping to get around to more local dyers and yarnies soon!  This was great fun, and I’m so excited to have a skein of something unique to this area to work with for a new design.