The Barchan Earflap Hat is named after the horseshoe-shaped snowdrifts called barchans. Worked from the top down with a provisional cast-on, this ribbed hat has a seamless construction with no short rows or stitches to pick up. The slouchy version of the hat is shown, but the pattern can be easily adapted for a beanie style, with or without earflaps.
I’m in love with the Lana Grossa Fur Pom Pom from The Trendsetter Yarn Group. It attaches easily with a snap which you stitch onto the hat. It’s just so soft and fuzzy and gorgeous!
I used the beautiful worsted wool I bought in Dresden, Germany a few years ago at The Green Wheel. I love having yarn as a souvenir. It was so much fun to relive a little bit of that amazing trip!
While driving through the Rhône-Alpes region of France last year
my husband and I stopped in downtown Grenoble so I could check out a yarn store (feeling lots of hubby-love here❤️), Maille á Part, located at 5 rue Génissieu. I went straight to some fingering weight alpaca, and stood there, trying to decide on a color. This was my first experience with Lang Yarns, a German company which has been in business since 1867. That’s almost 150 years!
Lang Yarns carries several wool yarns that are traceable, meaning can enter the yarn information printed on the lable here and learn about the farm and the sheep on the farm that produced the wool you are holding in your hand. Pretty cool.
Baby Alpaca is not a traceable yarn, but that didn’t take away any of the pleasure I enjoyed while knitting up the Grenoble Fair Isle Hat.
The boyz and I decided to hit the road to the Bitterroot Valley in Montana to visit the Mountain Colors workshop.
We followed the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, traveling up the Sacagawea Historical Byway in Idaho then onto the Salmon River Byway and into the Salmon-Challis National Forest.
Once we crossed the Montana state line, we entered the Bitterroot National Forest and drove down the mountain pass into the Bitterroot valley.
The valley is most famous as the setting for “A River Runs Through It,” but we traveled there for the yarn. Mountain Colors is owned and operated by Leslie Taylor and Diana McKay.
I was tickled to catch these hard-working ladies in action.
I took along some of my finished designs for show and tell
and came away with more treasures.
As every knitter knows, no matter what’s in the queue or what’s in the stash, when new yarn comes home we have to get our hands on it right away!
If you’re on the road and in the Missoula, Montana area take a few minutes and stop by the Mountain Colors Workshop. If you’re not on the road, check out #mountaincolors on Instagram for more of their lovely, vibrant yarns.
Last spring we got the chance to visit my brother and sister-in-law and their boys in San Diego, California, the most beautiful, peaceful place on the California coast. After lunch and before the beach, I paid a visit to The Black Sheep, a LSY located on Highway 101 in Encinitas.
This yarn store is the stuff of which dreams are made.
If you can dream of a luxury yarn brand, The Black Sheep probably carries it; Berroco, Classic Elite, Debbie Bliss, Jade Saphire, Rowan, and Skacel to name a few, every brand and style with an abundance of colorways.
I’d been dreaming of owning some Noro Solo for months, wanting to pair it with some of my striped Silk Garden in some sort of intarsia designed something or other. Instead, I ended up using most of it for Pierre’s Fringe Wrap.
I was on my way to Salt Lake City, Utah a while back to visit my daughter and had some time to kill, so I decided to stop off in Ogden to check out the LYS there. The Needlepoint Joint, located on historic 25th Street, is a store I’ve shopped at before, but it was an in-and-out visit to the store (never a good idea), and it had been on my mind ever since.
If you haven’t been to Historic 25th Street in Ogden lately, you are in for a treat.
They’ve restored the store fronts and blocked off the street so there’s lots of room to walk around and enjoy the booths and street artists.
The Needlepoint Joint is easy to find. Just follow the yarn bomb markers until you arrive! This is a beautiful store. Lovely interior, lots of gorgeous samples and lots of yummy yarn as well as needlepoint and embroidery threads and supplies. On my second trip here, I was able to spend a lot more time.
I only bought one skein, but was able to make the most of it (I literally had 2 yards left). Here is the final product, Autumn in Peachtree Cowl, designed for my sister who lives in Peachtree City, Georgia.
During my whirlwind European tour, I spent a couple of days in Dresden and a few hours in Berlin. Even in the rain I was able to enjoy the restored splendor of these two cities.
I was surprised by the memories and stong emotions invoked at the Berlin Wall Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie.
All the feelings of unbelief and horror I felt in 9th grade social studies came back to me as I stood at the monument, remembering the stories of men and women being shot in their desperate attempt to cross to West Berlin.
Then, the shock and amazement I felt as I sat with my first newborn watching Berliners tear that wall down 26 years ago; truly an awe-inspiring part of recent history. It was a gift to be able to visit Berlin.
We spent two days in Dresden, another east German city well into the process of restoration.
May 8, 1945 was the official end date of World War II, and almost 70 years later, Dresden is dedicated to the restoration of these cities to their pre-war beauty.
The restoration began at the collapse of the Soviet Union, 26 years ago, and the painstaking and meticulous work is still underway thanks to mostly private fundraising.
It was here, in Dresden where I got my yarn fix for the day. I fell in love with the newly opened yarn store, The Green Wheel.
Located in Dresden in the arts district at Rothenburger StraBe 7, The Green Wheel is owned by Anja Lorenz-GroBer and Franziska Horeth GbR.
They feature roving wool and handspun (produced by the owners), as well as yarns of all weights and colors produced by co-ops all over Europe.
I fell in love with the natural DK merino wool from co-ops in the Barvaria region of Germany. I bought several skeins, brought them home, (more than these!)
and will be making these hats for the boyz for Christmas! Follow this link to the free pattern
This was my first visit to East Germany and I loved it. What are your favorite sights in East Germany?