Thursday, October 27, 2016

Make Room for Something Big

Our first collection of limited edition colors on our limited edition Big Bijou Bliss base did so well that we scared up some more skeins for the folks at MJ Yarns to dye! We took the Big Bijou Bliss II colors to Rhinebeck earlier this month, and will have some skeins in our booth at SAFF this Halloween weekend -  you can also order BBBII here in our online store

One of our blogger friends, Knitting Sarah, shared a hat project knit with Big Bijou Bliss, and we loved it so much, we asked her to write another guest post to share her thoughts on working with this very special yarn. We hope you enjoy her post below, and be sure to check out her blog at knittingsarah.com

Big Bijou Bliss II, from L-R: PTX, Peacock, Fire Dragon, Mystery & Joseph II.

When I think of Bijou Basin Ranch, I automatically recall the first skeins of Bijou Bliss I purchased. The incomparable softness of the sport weight 50/50 yak/cormo blend captured my knitter’s heart and imagination at first touch. The mitts I knit with them are so warm & cozy that I literally look forward to wearing them every day. This fall my mind was blown once again when I discovered that the amazing folks at Bijou Basin Ranch had taken this classic blend and beefed it up for a limited edition worsted weight yarn. I knew I had to get my hands on this new yarn as soon as possible.


Big Bijou Bliss is made with that same Bijou Bliss 50/50 yak/cormo blend, but adds a bit more twist. It’s just enough twist, too – enough to allow for the creation of an excellent quality, durable worsted weight, but not so much as to detract from the unparalleled softness that we know and love in the Bijou Bliss family. In your hands, quite frankly, it is a treat. The added twist makes all the allure of this yarn slightly more understated than its sport weight counterpart, but that signature hand and warmth are there. Trust me, they’re there. And it packs a wallop of decadence while you’re knitting (and when you get to wear it, too). It’s such a joy to knit, in fact, that once I started knitting with it, I couldn’t put it down!


I chose to knit a hat with my special skein of Big Bijou Bliss and it’s fair to say that I was directly influenced by the beautiful hand-dyed colors available in this blend. MJ Yarns is the skillful dyer behind the limited edition Big Bijou Bliss colorways and I’ll be honest – I think they’re all equally gorgeous. With a lot of help from friends, I settled on the Lakeside colorway, but really regardless of your preferences there is a colorway for everyone in this lot. As I got down to the business of searching patterns, I found one called the Weather the Weather Hat by Megan Williams of Stockinette Zombies. The wavy lines reminded me of the endless series of waves that make their way toward the shore when you’re sitting… you guessed it, lakeside. And a project was born.


As I mentioned, once I started this project I barely put my needles down to sleep. The knitting was just that good. I knew before I was finished with the ribbing that it was going to be phenomenal. The way the colors were distributed across the yarn, the way the Big Bijou Bliss so elegantly displayed the stitches – it was one of those projects that just made me feel like I’d hit the jackpot. It was the kind of project you don’t want to finish because it would be you’d have to stop knitting it, but at the same time you can’t stop yourself from hurdling toward the end of it. I literally knit up this hat in less than twenty-four hours. Seriously, it was just that good.

A few days later, I had my Big Bijou Bliss Weather the Weather hat in my pack on the trail with my family. I’d brought it to snap some photos of it and shortly after I’d done just that it started to drizzle. Where I live in Wisconsin, in late September a light drizzle can chill you down to the bone pretty quickly. I grabbed my new hat and – you guessed it – I weathered the weather, Big Bijou Bliss style. I was as cozy as they come and finished out our hike with a smile on my face, thankful for the big beautiful yak & cormo fibers -not to mention the crew at Bijou Basin Ranch that made them into yarn -- that kept me warm.

Sarah Chy is a Wisconsin-based knitter, spinner, writer, and small-scale family adventurer. You can keep up with her latest crafty projects and family hijinks on her blog, knittingsarah.com.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Master Color Series 1: Winter is Coming



We're pleased to reveal our newest palette of exclusive colorways dyed for us by MJ Yarns! Each set in our Master Color Series will contain colors which complement each other, making it easy to choose the perfect colors for your next project...because no matter what you pick, they'll all look great together!

We've chosen our luxurious 100% Mongolian Cashmere base Xanadu, a light fingering weight which is perfect for stripes, colorwork, or to use all on its own. You can mix and match within our hand-dyed palette or add in colors from our existing mill dyed colors found here if you dare. However, for today's blog post, we'll be focusing on this palette of 6 new colors, which we've titled Winter is Coming as a nod to the popular show from which each gets their name and inspiration.


Shown above, from L-R: Winterfell, Sunspear, Dragonstone, Mereen, Dreadfort and Westeros.

It can sometimes be difficult to see how a collection of colors plays well when paired up in different combinations, so we've created some sample palettes to give you an idea of color combinations you can try for your next project.


From Top to Bottom: Westeros, Sunspear, Dreadfort and Dragonstone. In this palette, it becomes apparent that the last two colors are quite similar in value and tone (Dreadfort and Dragonstone), and don't have as much contrast as the first three colors (Westeros, Sunspear and Dreadfort). For some patterns, this could be a very desirable effect - for instance, those which were designed for gradient and skeins of yarn with long color repeats.

Here is this same palette, with the colors in a slightly different order:


From Top to Bottom: Westeros, Dragonstone, Sunspear and Dreadfort.
Notice how changing the order of the colors creates a more balanced contrast between the four colors!

We're excited to also re-launch the Xanadu Snowflake Cowl kit for the season - the perfect way to prepare for wintry weather, if you ask us (plus, you receive a discount when you buy the yarn and pattern together!).


This colorwork cowl is knit in the round and then seamed together to create a super-warm double knit accessory using two colors of our Xanadu yarn. Below, we share some possible ways to pair up colors from the Master Series:

L-R: Dreadfort, Westeros and Sunspear. 
For a super-wintry motif, opt for Dreadfort and Westeros; or, pair up the warm neutral of Sunspear with the icy tones of Westeros to make a higher contrast project. 


From Left to Right: Winterfell, Mereen & Sunspear. 
You could pair Mereen with either of these neutral colors to produce a striking contrast. 

From L-R: Westeros, Dragonstone & Winterfell. 
Again, you could pair Dragonstone with either of these colors to create your cowl.

Series 1 of the Master Color Series will be available in our booth at Rhinebeck this weekend, and of course, we have them for sale here in our online store. While you're visiting us online, be sure to check out all of newest colorways added to our Indie Dyers series from MJ Yarns and Miss Babs