Bumblebirch on Vacation

The studio has been temporarily taken over by a new addition to the family!

Bumblebirch is on vacation until we all get adjusted. See you soon!


Looking Forward

Being very, very pregnant has given me a keen appreciation for the sweet fashions that I haven't been able to wear since, oh, March. Here are a few finds from independent designers that I'd love to be wearing right now.

1. El Mariachi Pencil Skirt by PoorJean
2. Romantic Wrap Top by Lirola
3. Bertha top by Alis
4. Beatrix Pump by mykashoes
5. Grey Velveteen Ruffle Front Skirt by LoveToLoveYou
6. Pink Voile Knee Length Robe by leisastanton
7. Hazel Coat by LittleHouses
8. Beige Ruffles Dress by MyLolaFashion
9. Equinox Flat by HydraHeart


Summer Yarn

Some of these colorways are already in the shop, but isn't it exciting to see some new ones?

Rght there in the middle is my lovely, silky lace, Bumblebirch Cocoon. It's 80% merino/20% silk. On the left is Mountain Spring, a light, dusty turquoise, and on the right is something new. I departed from the usual purples and ventured into mulberry and blackberry shades. What do you think?


Happy Canada Day!

I'm not Canadian, though I heard a rumor from my mom that I have Canadian blood through my grandpa's side of the family. Either way, I love our Northern neighbors! Here are a few Canadian creatives that caught my eye this week.

From beadsss

From Brinner

From EvaldasNeverland

From ParadiseHillDesigns

From bonspielcreation

From sugarloafshop

Happy Canada Day, everyone!


Crafty Weekend

There are a lot of local activities going on this week leading into the weekend!

Hello Craft's Summit of Awesome is going on now right here in Portland. The Summit closes its lineup of workshops with a Day of Craft and party. Crafty activities will continue into the weekend with the Show of Awesome at Doug Fir Lounge (Crafty Wonderland, one of the sponsors, used to host monthly craft shows here).

Friday through Sunday is Oregon's Black Sheep Gathering, and annual fiber fest, featuring a livestock and wool show, contests, workshops, and a trade show. You can find Bumblebirch stitch markers at the Kathee Nelson Art Yarn booth. Kathee's a fellow local independent dyer and has the loveliest silk yarn. If you're heading out to Eugene, be sure to stop by her booth!

Saturday is the famous WWKIP Day (that's World Wide Knit in Public Day). You won't be able to avoid seeing knitters walking around with their projects on display in cities all over the world! Many of them will participate in photo scavenger hunts, such as the one organized by Sock Knitters Anonymous, a Ravelry group.

Bumblebirch has a bit of crafty going on in the studio this week...a new colorway is in the works. Check in again soon for a sneak preview!


Two Basic Cast On Methods, Remedied

When I first started knitting, I used to panic about what kind of cast on method to use. Now I don't panic, but I have developed preferences and experience. Until recently, I would avoid 2 particular cast on methods: the backwards loop cast on, and the long-tail cast on.

The backward loop is called the "beginner" cast on because it's so simple, and when I first started knitting everyone told me to use this method. My problem was that by the time I knitted to the end of the first row, there was huge gap of slack between stitches at the first cast on stitch (the slipknot). So I cast on one more stitch than needed, then drop the skipknot at the end. Problem solved!

My problem with the long-tail cast on is that I either overestimate the tail length and waste too much yarn, or I underestimate and have to start the whole cast on edge over again (usually multiple times). But there's a solution to this!

I was catching up on some knitting podcasts and heard about a brilliant way to fix this problem: use both ends of the ball of yarn. I haven't found a video demonstrating this, or even much discussion online, so here's the basic theory:

1. Hold both ends as one and make a slip knot. This will be the first 2 stitches of your cast on edge.

2. Position the yarn as you normally would for long-tail cast on, with one strand around the thumb and one around the index finger. You'll want to decide whether you'll knit your item from the "inside" or "outside" yarn and put that strand around the index finger.

3. Cast on infinite stitches!

4. Snip the other strand, leaving a tail long enough to weave in.

At least I don't have to avoid these cast-on methods anymore!


Works in Progress

Aside from the usual distraction, there really has been quite a lot of work going on in the Bumblebirch studio.

The Summer line of stitch markers is ready! All 8 new colors of Droplets and Petite Droplets will be listed in the shop soon!

In addition to new stitch markers, I'm pleased to announce a new colorway:


This colorway is inspired by the flowers we had at our wedding: cream and blush pink. It's just in time to celebrate our 2nd anniversary on May 25th! Peony is available in any of the Bumblebirch bases.

Me with my bridesmaid and bouquet-maker Caela

Happy May, everyone!


Sewn Bind Off

I can't believe I haven't used this stretchy bind off before! I've knit so many projects which would benefit from the sewn bind off, so I'll have to make it my standard sock bind off from now on.


Spring Cleaning Sale

As you know, I'm a member of an Etsy Team called the OWLs, a diverse group of artists, artisans, and crafters who come together for mutual business support and skill growth. Our team is holding a Spring Cleaning Sale to celebrate the onset of Spring, and you can score some great deals in a bunch of shops! Visit the OWLs blog to see all the participating shops and their deals.

Bumblebirch will be offering 10% off all stitch markers, and 15% off all yarn. I'll also be offering early subscriptions to the Yarn + Tea Club for April & May. It's time to clean out the shop!


March Yarn Club Sneak Peek

Lucky Yarn Club and Yarn + Tea Club members, here's a teaser for you!


Spring Non-Sock Patterns for Sock Yarn

Fingering weight yarn is usually called sock yarn even though that's not its only use, and that certainly isn't the only weight of yarn suitable for knitting socks. Somehow when sock-knitting fever started spreading, it became more popular to call fingering weight yarn sock yarn so that potential sock knitters could find it more easily. Now, I love knitting socks, but I'm a little tired of them now that Spring in here. Time for other uses! Here are some of my current favorites for Spring:

Little Sister's Dress by Tora Froseth
Ravelry Link :: Website Link
I've actually got this one on the needles at the moment, in a lovely Bumblebirch colorway called "Hydrangea." It's a gift for my godsister's new baby girl.

Sartje's Booties by Saartje de Bruijn
Ravelry Link :: Website Link
Ok, I admit I totally have baby on the brain. I'm 3 1/2 months along myself. Can you blame me? I mean, look at these wee booties! For wee baby feet! And those wee buttons? It's killing me!

Brandywine Shawl by Rosemary Hill
Ravelry Link :: Website Link
This shawl is sweet and simple, with a touch of femininity. The designer is donating $5 of each pattern sale to Doctors without Borders for their work in Haiti.

Myrtle Cardigan by Snowden Becker
Ravelry Link :: Website Link
Who doesn't love a beautiful lace cardigan? It's perfect for layering.

Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang
Ravelry Link :: Website link
These are such stunning little mitts! Perfect for not-quite-cold/not-quite-warm weather. I consider fingerless mitts to be a staple of the layering wardrobe, and with endless color combinations these be the perfect Spring or Fall accessory.

Haruni by Emily Ross
Ravelry Link
Another beautiful lace pattern suitable for fingering weight yarn. This one is so feminine and pretty, it's on my queue!

Doughnut by Dorien
Ravelry Link :: Website Link
Breakfast time!


Spring Tea

Spring is here in Portland! It's definitely early, but no one's complaining.

That means it's time for the Spring Yarn Clubs! Mmm, teatime...mmmm yarn!

You can join the Bumblebirch Spring Yarn Club or Yarn + Tea Club here!


Under Construction

Make sure you've got your hard hat on! The blog is undergoing some changes, so stay tuned!