Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn Crawl is on through Sunday, September 25.

A Revelation

Dear Kay:
First, some quick video schnippets for ya.
Etsy. I always wondered where our favorite handcrafty online marketplace got its name. Etsy.com. I always thought it was sort of like itsy, as in “itsy bitsy.” Which doesn’t mean much, but it is cute. Turns out that Et sy is Latin for “and if.” I learned that and a lot more from this TV profile, which captures all the promise and anticipation which comes with “and if.” Such energy! And I loved seeing our pal Robin’s daughter Julie, making her beautiful handmade books in the studio of Etsy–her books and cards and (dreamy) scarves are here. Remember: if you support an artist, you get two extra free days in Heaven. That’s just a fact.
And here’s a News Channel 5 report about a prayer shawl group in Nashville. This schnippet features Lindsey Hill, one of the cool midwives who knits at the library each month. Warning: heartstring-tugging ahead.
My Knitting, O My Knitting
On Saturday, my Blue Sky Alpaca & Silk yarn arrived from kpixie.com. I had expressed concern to Pixie Jessica that the shade I chose wouldn’t be murky enough for my taste, and she wrote back, “If you like murky, verte is for you.”
Verte. Which means “green.” But when I opened my little box, I was delighted to find that the Blue Sky people are nothing if not subtle thinkers when it comes to color, because this yarn is blacker than the cover of Smell the Glove. None more black.
Anyway. The yarn. I know you’re probably sitting there thinking, Girl. Why would you go for such a grim shade when the Alpaca Silk shade card has the most luscious colors of any shade card in the history of yarn?
Well, it’s because I’ve been doing some soul-searching. I wear my semi-felted-by-accident, non-handknit gray cardigan every day. It’s because I like it. I just do. I really, truly like dark sweaters, but I’ve always avoided making them because it seemed like it wouldn’t be any fun to knit a gray, black, or so-dark-it’s-not-really-green yarn.
But this Verte. It seemed like the right time, the right yarn. I started work on the silk shrug, and I gotta say: I love knitting a long swath of stockinette using size 3 needles and gloomy yarn. I’m freeeeeeee!
I finally got this yarn to show its sheeny green soul when I placed it on my black coat and used a flash:
Which goes to show you, after all, that there’s a little green in all of us if we look hard enough.




  1. Hi Ann,
    I’ve been working on this shrug in the rust colour (store sample, rust isn’t really my colour). I’m just past halfway on the back – what a vastness of st.st. Good thing that I can find the meditative zen in endless, mind-numbing stockinette. It’s really okay though because I have other projects to give me a break!

  2. Oh great, now you’ve made me all weepy! What a great spot on the news, I loved it. When I knit anything, there’s always one thing that comes to mind. It differs from project to project (usually I think of the recipient) but it’s always the same. It does become meditative, and I always feel like I’m knitting my thoughts in.

  3. That pattern is all fun and games on the first sleeve, but wait till you get to the soul sucking death march of the back. It’s, umm….. REALLY long. Also, you’re probably way ahead of me on this, but it didn’t occur to me until I was seaming the sleeves that the seaming would have been much easier, and the seam much more attractive, if I would have put the increases and decreases a couple stitches in from the edge.

  4. 1. There is no such thing as too much murk. I am wearing my own (nonhandknit) gray silk/cashmere cardi for the third time this week.
    2. There is no better yarn on earth than anything that comes from Blue Sky. I am thinking of doing the famous ripple crochet blanket in all blue sky cotton. (See: Posie Gets Cosy and Yarnstorm blogs for the ripple phenomenon) I love Blue Sky best.
    3. The daughter is spending spring break week in Nashvegas (well, Gallatin) with her grandparents and I so desperately wish there was a way for me to be there, too, to shop fer yarn and so forth. Angel Hair is calling out to me.

  5. okay.
    first, lurve the Etsy bit. I feel very edumacated now. and lurve the etsy shop you linked to. so much so that i ordered a couple things.
    second. lurve the pictures! it’s amazing what flashes on cameras can do to the item being photographed. so i guess verte is a very appropriate name for that colorway!
    third. did you know that Stitches West has the ability to make a person sick, physically?
    I went, I saw, I drooled, I bought and bought and bought…and then i got home and collapsed under all the weight of fiber and yarn purchased over 2 days at Stitches.
    it’s amazing really. :o)

  6. Murk is good. Grey is good. You cannot get better than a murky grey. Or black. You just go with that murk. I’m with you all the way!

  7. Beautiful, beautiful yarn, great pattern–and Spinal Tap! You’ve started my day out just right. Thank you.

  8. Evidently, it’s not easy bein’ green…
    Ann, that shrug will look just perfect on you. Please share a pic when it’s done!

  9. I love that color! It is full of murky goodness.

  10. sorry to say… but it seems the guys at etsy will never tell how they really got the name!! here’s the blog entry over there: http://blog.etsy.com/?p=172.

  11. I put down my euroflax sweater to make this shrug, out of a very happy color: spring. The linen was killing me, and with a toddler, mindless stockinette is just what I need. no pattern to mess up!

  12. So are you saying you’re more Olive than Sassy?

  13. A few minutes later, I’m still chortling at “Smell the Glove.” There’s NEVER a bad occasion to bring that up! heh heh.

  14. Looks like we have a wee knitalong going, I’m in on the shrug in Amethyst. The thought of mind numbing St st is a bit daunting, but Blue Sky is sooo worth it. I’ve decided to work on continental knitting too, which seems to keep me moving at a better pace.

  15. Love the shrug! And you know you’ll actually wear this colour, so who cares about the shade card (although, I must say, some of those shades are calling my name).

  16. I just love the murkiness! Gimme a black sweater any day! But that green, looks sooo good.

  17. I’ve never been a green fan, but I love that colour, can’t wait to see how it comes out. Glad the stockinette is working for you.

  18. I love that verte! Love it, love it, love it! It will look marvelous on you. Sure wish I wasn’t gone all of the 2nd Mondays of the month. I was hoping to come visit next month, but we’re going to NC instead. Poot. Maybe in April. XOXO Meg

  19. I had no idea Prince Harry was the mind behind Etsy. Thanks so much for this info.
    I always thought it was Betsy minus B. Stuff that a really cool indie crafter named Betsy would make, only she dyed her hair, got a tattoo, and lost her B. Seriously, this was what I thought.
    Embrace the stockinette. BE the stockinette. No such thing as too much stockinette.
    xox Kay

  20. Charleston green.

  21. Hahaha..Kay’s comment is cracking me up..Betsy minus the B..with dyed hair and a tattoo..love it!

  22. Hey Ann–my shrug kit shipped yesterday! I’ll be knitting mindless stockinette in garnet soon. I need mindless right about now…

  23. What an amazing yarn! It holds secrets…
    It reminds me of my car, an old Saturn in “Blue-Black”, which mostly looks black but on a sunny day, sapphire gleams from the black where the sun hits it. But yarn is MUCH better than cars!
    Murky? Nah. Subtle and shadowed.
    Re Spinal Tap….knitting sticks are much safer than drumsticks, obviously.

  24. Prince Harry is the mind behind many things….. the playboy image is all a sham you know, really he is plotting to take over the world (cue sinister music here)

  25. Oh, a “Spinal Tap” reference – yay!
    That yarn looks divine and murky. I’ve been working with their alpaca/wool blend and it’s great. I can’t imagine how beauteous the alpaca/silk must be.

  26. That Blue Sky Alpaca does offer up some tempting colors don’t they? I have a whole mess of the slate. It is currently in yarn purgatory, having spent most of last year at an in-between sweater stage. Oh failures. The yarn is a tricky little thing to knit sometimes, it does want to split more than I want it to – but oh when you block: the drape, the sheen, all those lumpy-bumpy tension thingies melt away. Before-and-after photo worthy for sure. Enjoy!

  27. Okay, Ann, you’ve got me completely obsessing over that Silk Shrug! I look at it online oh, maybe ten or fifteen times a day. Definitely FOB! (to borrow an acronym from Kay – hope you don’t mind). When I get close to finishing the Equestrian Blazer from Winter IK (also miles of stockinette – but I love stockinette!) I think I’ll have to order up the kit. I’m torn between the murky Verte and murky Night. I look forward to hearing your progress reports. And hey! Did you model it for Blue Sky Alpaca? Sure looks like ya!

  28. Growing up in North Carolina, the proper shutter color for the proper (white) antebellum home was black green. I’m not sure what the people at Marrow-Pitt called it but I’m sure it wasn’t “verte.” Love the color; reminds me of home, especially now that I am surrounded by stucco.

  29. i keep hearing kermit (it’s not easy, being green)
    love the color, though

  30. That’s an interesting note about Etsy. However, “et sy” should be “et si” I think. The Romans only used k, y and z for words of Greek origin. When I studied Latin “if” was always spelled “si.” Just some geekiness for y’all.

  31. Dark sweaters go with everything and they are the perfect I might get dirty today wear.

  32. Spinal Tap reference? YOU rock!

  33. Hi,
    I just got the book!!! wow what a fun read… is there a kal that is open to us latecomers?

  34. Thank you for the link to the prayer shawl group in Nashville. Our church here in Indiana just held it’s first meeting for a group. I am now knitting away on my first shawl (okay I am putting the 2nd one on needles this week too).
    I sent the link to the group – thanks for sharing!

  35. I love the color! I have the same yarn in true black to make the “Somewhat Cowl” sweater with. Will be interesting to see how blind I go knitting in black, when the time comes. But I am loving that nearly black green you’ve found!

  36. Smell the Glove? I didn’t know so many of us knitters are also Spinal Tap fans! “It’s a fine line between stupid and clever” is the name of someone’s knitting blog.
    I envy us.

  37. The color is awesome- although I can’t wear those kinds of colors- with my dark olive skin they make me look sick. But I envy those who can wear it.
    I have to say right now I have been sucked into baby bib and burp cloth knitting oblivion. It all ya’ll’s fault!!!! I can’t stop knitting the darned things (which might be good because it seems that many of my friends are pregnant)- but I just wanted to let ya’ll know that I am holding ya’ll responsible for the explosion of burp cloths and bibs down here in the piedmont of North Carolina.
    just saying’

  38. Hello? Just wondering where the Posts Are, hopeing Ann and Kay are both OK, with no word in the past week and all.
    So I will continue on with my MDK inspired life : Ballband warshcloths on the bus, started making Mitered squares at home, waiting for Twinkles from the library, reading “Collapse…..” before I go to bed. Cheers, Chris in Madison


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