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February 17, 2010

Mercy Koigu

Awhile back, a pair of the husband's favorite Koigu socks died. As part of the mourning process, I promised a replacement pair, but quickly realized that Koigu wasn't readily available locally. After a desultory round of clicking on various yarny websites, Rosemary had mercy upon me and sent me her "extra".

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Click for bigger. This colorway (P105) thoroughly met the recipient's approval. Now all I have to do is find suitable contrast heel and toe yarn, and I'm in business. That is, after I finish the Chocolate Cherry socks for myself. First things first!

February 09, 2009

Chocolate Cherry

New yarn is always a bright spot in any day. Since Monday mornings can use some uplift....

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Claudia's Handpainted sock yarn in Chocolate Cherry.

I won a gift certificate to kpixie.com on Carole's blog, picked out two skeins of this yarn and had it in my hands practically the next day. Mail order yarn shopping doesn't get any more immediately gratifying than that.

This yarn is tempting me out of my picot-edge, stockinette stitch rut. If anyone cares to suggest their favorite sock patterns, perhaps its time for me to branch out with this yarn. I'm not looking for anything complex -- an easily memorizable pattern is more likely to attract me than something involving constant watchfulness.

Hmmm.

The knitting mojo might be coming back.

January 09, 2008

Yarn Acquired

I am an infrequent yarn buyer at best. New, shiny yarn does not have the allure it once did; I don't know why. My very strong preference is to buy yarn for a specific project, which will be started right away. Yarn sitting in my stash seems to age badly, getting wrinkled and moldy like a few items in my fridge that I could name.

Sock yarn, however, has its own privileged spot in the yarn-buying continuum. It is the botoxed, work-done movie star of the yarn stash, always ready for its close-up.

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I went on the NYC yarn crawl intending to buy the Koigu, specifically requested for husband socks. That's them on the right, in the bright colors favored for inside-the-ski-boot wear. The yarn on the left -- the Chocolate Claudia's Handpainted -- well, I sort of fell down a bit on that one. Not in the buying of it. Nuh-uh. I'm always on the lookout for beautiful "semi-solid" yarns to balance out the mostly-extremely-variegated sock yarns that I already own.

The unintended bit was that I accidentally started a Chocolate Monkey.

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Curses upon Jackie and her new iPhone which was able instantly to answer the question "how many stitches must I cast on for Monkey" in my moment of weakness, right there in The Point.

The husband is sad: his Koigu has gone unwound. The Bird mittens are sad (yet, it is 50 degrees and desperately un-mittenlike). Hanami is lonely.

But could a Chocolate Monkey really be bad?

July 16, 2007

Yarn Pron

Monday mornings are hard. I firmly believe that most of us start off the week in survival mode. Reaching dazedly for the coffee/tea and not really up for much strenuous blog reading. Lots and lots of words....brain hurty.

In such a situation, uncomplicated, pretty pictures of yarn would not go amiss, right?

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Roxanne of Zen Yarn Garden fame sent me a yarn bouquet! What a great idea...yarn in a bouquet...a perfect special gift for knitters like me who have kitties that eat real bouquets. The soft, superwash merino sock yarn is called "Claudia's Fire" and basically has all my favorite colors in it....plums mixed with reds and oranges. A beautiful dye job, made even better because someone else did all the work. I can hardly wait to see how this knits up.

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Those of you who followed the enormous MS Ride Prize Raffle recognize this yarn....Vesper Sock Yarn in the Tandem special colorway! It was extra special nice of Julia to save a skein of this superwash wool/nylon colorway for me. My evil plan for this yarn consists of scoring a second skein through underhanded and devious trading and knitting socks for all four feet that pedal....the Tandem. It must be done.

An update for Igor fans: he gained some weight last week on just the B12 shots and we are hoping he is continuing to gain weight this week. He appreciates your good wishes, but really just wants the delicious wet food and chicken to keep on comin'.

Have a great Monday!


December 27, 2006

Santa Brings Yarn

Well, maybe Santa didn't bring the yarn and Silvia did. Regardless, there is some new yarn under the tree.

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What could be more festive than Rowan Kidsilk Haze? Right. Nothing. The color is Hurricane, a really lovely subtle blue/gray. For those that might comment, yes I am expanding my color horizons and specifically told Santa that I was open to blue.

I did drop a hint or two, because I had my eye on Glad from Rowan 39. This was a much-maligned issue when it came out, but I found alot to like in it. I especially noticed the Glad sweater when All Tangled Up Polly featured real people wearing it here. Indeed, the sweater is all stockinette and not particularly technically challenging. But as anyone who has worked with Kidsilk Haze can say, a whole sweater in this delightful but pain-in-the-ass yarn demands full concentration. Fixing a mistake in Kidsilk Haze...well, choosing between that and a stick in the eye would be a tough call.

October 16, 2006

New Yarn Store in Town

On Saturday, Silvia and i headed down to Sunnyvale, CA for the opening of Purlescence Yarns.

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Nathania (as you can see) looked radiant and happy as she started out this new venture with her two partners. And her man Kevin is really too cute to be believed unless one sees him in person.

The shop itself was a light, bright environment with inviting spaces to sit and knit awhile. The shopping experience seems different from the sorts of yarn shops that I've shopped in lo these many years. Perhaps its the whole knitblogger-serving-knitblogger dynamic. Meaning the folks who are opening the new yarn shops have the same point of reference as I do -- the vast resources and lightning-quick trendiness of our beloved internets. For example, here is the Socks That Rock/Claudia's Handpainted wall.

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How delicious-looking is that? But continuing with my point, here is a shop that can cater to the speciality yarn demands of the surfer-of-the-knit-blogs. If this is a trend -- and I hope that it is -- it will draw me back to bricks-and-mortar yarn shopping, which I've largely abandoned in favor of ordering unusual yarns off of the internets or buying at wool festivals. The biggest plus is that shops like Purlescence attract nests of knitbloggers. On Saturday this small flock included the amazing Beadlizard Sylvia and her knitting daughter Smallness who I've "known" for years and years but never actually met in person. Good times, people. Good times.

Did I buy yarn? You can check out my small addition to the sock yarn stash over here. The chosen yarn was lightweight Socks That Rock in the Mica colorway. I've only used the original Socks that Rock which is somewhat heavier, so I'll be interested to see how this stuff works up.

Vacation is ending very soon, the sadness of which is tempered by the impendingness of Rhinebeck. More good times ahead.

August 04, 2006

Yarn Eye Candy

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I bought yarn. That hasn't happened in a long-assed while.

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Here is a delicious hank of Silk Lace yarn from the talented Sundara that she was kind enough to dye just for me. How decadent to simply describe my heart's desire and have it turn up in the mailbox, without ME HAVING TO DYE IT! Yeah!

I had to wind it up and swatch it right away.

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Sundara's picture is the truer color.

What am I knitting?

Why, its vacation knitting!

If I can find wireless internet in a flat land full of bicycles, perhaps you will see more of this soon. If not, have a great week!

May 08, 2006

Home From Maryland

Home again from a wonderful festival weekend in Maryland. As always, the best part is hanging out with old friends and making new ones. Especially nice was randomly running into bloggers whose blogs I enjoy. The bathroom line is prime meet-and-greet territory, where I met Jody and Christy. And learned that Jody doesn't really live in Savannah. Who knew? :) Later on, I ran into Ann Marie where, instead of saying "I love your blog!" that came out as "girl, you crazy!" Um, sorry Anne Marie. Don't sic Petey on me.

I was delighted to meet Jodi, the designer of one of my favorite sweaters. Sadly it was too warm a day to wear it, although I had it with me on the trip. It was also great to chat a bit with Julia of Vesper sock yarn fame. A real highlight of the weekend was meeting Rock Chick, and I regret not being able to spend more time chatting up Ms. RC. And I finally got to meet the beautiful Eileen, after missing her last year. Of this, I have a picture:

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Maybe she'll post again very soon?

Thanks to those folks who read here who took the time to say hello during the weekend. That was very sweet of you. Further links I cannot type at this time, as duty is calling. Let me end with some pictures and commentary on the weekend and its spoils.

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Baby alpacas -- seriously what could be cuter?

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Well, the llama is pretty darn cute too.

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Mmm. Lunch.

So, let's get this over with. I bought no fiber in Maryland, and really wasn't even all that interested in looking. Granted, I might have broken down at Stefania's booth succumbing to the entreaties of an absent friend, had we not had to run out of the festival THAT MINUTE or risk jeopardizing one of my favorite parts of the weekend (the Nordie's run). And yes, I spent way more $$ at said Nordie's than at the festival. This does not make me a mutant, despite what they say.

But I did get an interesting selection of things that I'm really excited about.

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I love this so much, that I've worn it since I bought it at R.E. Piland Goldsmiths on Sunday. Its a beautiful piece, and I really enjoy buying things like this directly from the guy who made it. Apparently, jewelry was on my mind, because I also bought a gorgeous shawl pin from him. I've made a fair number of shawls that I don't wear outside of the house very often. Perhaps using this lovely pin on the shawls might make me actually wear them. We will see.

Continuing the jewelry theme, I was really impressed with the glass art produced by new vendor Moving Mud.

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This piece was advertised as a shawl pin, ergo the pin sitting next to it. Frankly I couldn't see this as a shawl pin (I'd be worried that I'd knock it against something and break it). So, when I saw Silvia picking one out, I paid no attention until - as we were walking away from the booth -- she told me she planned to make a pendant out of it. Fabulous! I made her walk right back to the booth and help me pick one out for me. I've got the black silk cord and the findings for a lobster claw clasp. I just need to find the time to put this baby together.

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Look at the cuteness of the sheepy cutting board (bought from Stacey at Made by Ewe. Also pictured is the one (1) skein of yarn that I actually bought this weekend (black Koigu for the heels and toes of husband-socks) and the Carrot colored Lorna's Laces gifted to me by Juno. I did look for solid colored sock yarn, but frankly I didn't see anything as nice as what Sundara offers, so I'll just wait and order as I need it. Lastly, there are the spoils of an hour spent in the souvenier line. A delightful hour, spent in the company of the fabulous Lara, Cassie and Leigh.

Oh, I lied. There was also a book, a huge amount of soap, chocolate and otherwise and husband slippers made by Rick of Shepherd's Flock. As I said earlier, I LOVE buying things from the person who made them.

So. A fine Maryland Sheep and Wool. Its always over too soon.


January 11, 2006

Fiber Room Makeover

You know how there are these shows on TV, where a team of perky funkily-attired designers descends upon a willing victim. And they take all the furniture out of a room, then pull pieces from all over the house and put the room back together totally differently.

Well. That was my Sunday in the Fiber Room. Minus the perky designer (damn). Only the day also included a wholesale culling of the items in my stash that were unused and unloved. So, what I'm about to show you is what yarn and fiber I have and am keeping -- which is a comfortable quantity for me, the anti-stasher, to have sitting around.

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If you want a bigger picture, click here.

In the interests of full disclosure, I also have half an Icelandic fleece and a whole Romney lamb fleece in a box to go to a processor. There is a washed Border Leicester fleece in a bin in the closet in the process of being combed, and twenty-three years' worth of leftover yarn oddballs in four bags in the other closet.

Guided tour of the converted living room bookshelf from top left cubby:

In the first cubby are two sweaters worth of Artfibers yarn -- Kyoto and Liana, some handspun and some lace weight and sport weight yarn that were lovely gifts. The top row, second cubby is the sock yarn stash which I was determined to squeeze in there. It might explode soon if I don't get sockin'. The remainder of the top row cubbies is all handspun.

Moving to the second row, the first cubby contains some Adrienne Vittadini cotton yarn (a present), a full bag of Cotton Glace from a friend's stash, a cone of alpaca from another friend's stash and some Tess Yarns ribbon yarn leftover from another project, but enough to make another tank. The next cubby over has two skeins of green Rowan Magpie Aran Tweed (love this yarn, Rowan why did you discontinue it!), more gift balls of yarn and a sweater's worth of lovely forest green Pingouin yarn that Silvia gave me a long, long time ago. The remaining cubbies are my Phildar stash: a sweater's worth of Falaise (involved in this stalled project) and random balls that were gifts, plus a sweater's worth of Filatura Di Crosa Elena that was souvenier yarn.

In the row below is some coned Frangipani guernsey wool that is involved in a long-stalled project, some handspun, some Cascade 220 and some more yarn from a friend's stash. The fiber (most of which I bought, some was a gift) is mostly quite soft, luscious stuff: Polwarth, cashmere, silk, merino and bunnycrack of various types.

I really like being able to see my yarn and fiber, instead of it being hidden away in drawers and bins. I'm one that forgets what she has if it isn't out where I can eyeball it. And all the colors are pretty, aren't they?

The only reason I felt like talking about this today is that subject of redecorating is rather uppermost in my mind because there are other parts of the house that are also gettting the room makeover treatment. But I suppose a discussion of stash and one's feelings towards it positive or negative, is the likely outcome of the above pic.

So, I'll say that FOR ME the momentary pleasure of the hunt and the acquisition of new "stuff" is far outweighed by the psychic weight of it then sitting around and cluttering up my life. Perhaps for years before I use it. What I have is sufficient for (1) fiber room decoration and (2) insurance against the small chance of future yarn famine. Your mileage may (and probably does) vary. Knit on.

October 19, 2005

A Post about Rhinebeck Spoils, But Not Really

Let's get this over with quick. Here is the sum total of what I bought at Rhinebeck:


Its a small pile, but there are those who love it.


There is a ball of sock yarn for the husband because I really thought he would like it. I'm aware that this is blue. Perhaps I've been hanging around Teresa too long, or the Harlot's evil sock yarn plan worked. There is lots and lots of soap from my favorite soap lady. And there is a cunning little niddy noddy from Mr. Woodchuck. I blame this one entirely on Cassie because she made me use hers on Saturday night.

But, what I'd like to talk about today is the indigo. Why indigo? you might ask. And I wouldn't blame you a bit, because I've gone around for many a year disclaiming any interest whatsoever in natural dyeing. Here is the backstory.

After a short search together with Leigh on Sunday morning, I found Earthues indigo (plus accompanying chemicals) at the Botanical Shades booth. Now, indigo is a magical dye. Upon coming out of the vat, I'm told that the fiber changes colors before your eyes before settling on the final shade. Quite unlike the dyes I'm used to working with, which are lovely in their own way.

So, why indigo? We will start this explanation with a sheep named Luna. Some years ago, there was an Icelandic sheep named Luna, whose first fleece was so soft, so lustrous, so fine, that all who felt it were instantly captivated by fleece lust. Here's a peek. Luna and her sheepy friends lived on a farm, which was beautifully nestled in the Hudson Valley with views of rolling hills on all sides. There were colorful chickens wandering the grounds, and all manner of friendly dogs, large and small. And when I was there, great multitudes of friends were always about, cooking wonderful meals and spinning contentedly.

A tragic farm accident took the shepherd. Luna and her friends were re-homed and doubtless are happily munching on hay today. But there is no more beautiful farm with views of the hills. And there is only one Luna fleece, of which I have half and Helen has the other.

For quite awhile I've been contemplating what Luna might want to be. It certainly must be special -- pedestrian plans simply won't do here. I've settled on dyeing the fleece with indigo because the magical turning of colors feels more in tune with the sheep and the farm from which the fleece came. Then I'm thinking that I will spin miles of fingering weight yarn and make Hyrna.

Do I know how to indigo dye? Um, not really. Well, actually not at all. However, I'm not about to let little details such as this interfere with the master(piece) plan. Ain't no wussies here.

Now, if you all will excuse me. There is some packing to be done.

September 09, 2005

Three Cornered

The slow boat from Iceland finally pulled in at Schoolhouse Press, and I've got me a whole new set of want-to-knits.


Three Cornered & Long Shawls by Sigridur Halldorsdottir.


Although there are an amazing amount of beautiful and unusual shawls in this book, I am unreasonably fond of this one (click on the pop-up for big). The shaping! The edging! Must make!

Although the book is entirely in Icelandic, along with it comes an insert which translates into English the stuff you need to know. Charts are universal, and all the designs are charted in this book.

How sad for me that I'm currently out-of-stock on laceweight yarn.....

July 18, 2005

Me Love Pressies

I am a present whore. Unreformed, unrepentant. Love dem pressies. Sometimes I show them here and sometimes I don't, depending. Many times a present just catches my imagination and I can't think about anything else for awhile. And when this coincides with a weekend that produced minimal blog fodder, well you know what's coming:

Score!

Every so often, my friend Stephanie hooks me up with some of her company's goodies. Smack me silly, but they've got Claudia colors. Pumpkin, rust, subtle green! Mmmmm, mmmm good. I am very interested in knitting up the pumpkin Lion Wool. This strikes me as a potentially very useful basic aran/heavy worsted 100% wool that won't break the bank for a sweater's worth. If I had't sworn off making Rogues.....well I'd be seriously swatch-tempted for that. With all yarns of this type (regardless of price-point) I'm concerned about pilling. But this new yarn is very, very intriguing.

Now, brace yourself. Check out the Cashmere. HEAVY WORSTED CASHMERE, people. Be still my beating heart. Maybe the title of this post should be Cashmere Whore. This feels delicious at 77% merino, 10% nylon, 13% cashmere. In my opinion, less "microfibery" than the DB Cashmerino and intensely pet-able. In fact, I've been petting it since it came and can not wait to cast on.

I'm thinking One Skein Wonder (which will actually take two skeins of this at 85 yards/skein, but nevermind). This should be hitting the market shortly, although its not yet on the Lion Brand website.

With actual fashionista-oriented colorways and well, cashmere, me thinks that this company is making a serious run at the upscale yarn buyer. Even the two foofy scarf yarns in the above picture have at least a quarter of natural fiber content. Rather more like a Phildar-type blend than the 100% acrylic situation I'd normally think of for mass-market novelty yarns. Great, I say. The more choice the better from this yarn consumer's point of view.

So, while I'm out taking the yarn-present-picture, I notice that one of the flowers that I planted this weekend was looking especially nice. Channeling Cara I thought "hey, take a macro picture".


This orange dahlia has a little friend.

I know that I'm pretty darn blind.

But I took three or four pictures before I saw the bee. I realize how lame that is.

July 13, 2005

Birthday Gifts, But Not For Me

My husband is hell to buy for. I've long ago given up on surprise gifts for him, which is fine and dandy with all concerned. But trust Silvia to come up with the perfect birthday gift for him.

Just the Trekking is for him. The rest is for me, Me, ME.

Behold the loveliness of the elusive Trekking XXL in Color 100. And think about the stunning beauty of this plan. Sil gives me nice yarn, I make socks for hubby, hubby gets a socky gift. Everybody wins!

It is so delicious that I may have to start these socks right away. Or, query whether that impulse could have come from already being asked (numerous times) when his birthday socks would be ready?

Perhaps there is a flaw in the plan after all.

July 08, 2005

Ode to My Yarn

The weather is gray and wet, the world news is frightful. One could climb right back into bed and pull the covers over one's head.

Or, one could contemplate new yarn.


The color is "Terracotta" and the yarn is truly that, not as pumpkin orange as may appear on your monitors.

An unopened package of new yarn (bought from the Girlreaction abundant stash) is like a newborn baby or the day before the start of a new adventure. Full of joy and life and promise. Nothing bad has yet happened, the yarn is unsullied by mistakes and regrets. The possibilities are endless, the horizons limitless.

Look how neat the little balls are, all tucked in their tidy package. No ends splayed about, no tangles disrupting the cunning tableau. Right now, there is plenty of yarn. Yarn famine, you have no power here! It is the right color and gauge, the right fiber with the correct hand and drape.

All is bliss. All is perfection.

But soon, the inevitable planning will begin. The leafing through the stash of Rowan magazines, Rebeccas, VK's and IK's. Oh, not enough yarn for that, way too much for this. Right yarn, right quantity, but this style isn't right for picky ole me. Oh, what does this yarn want to be? Is designing and the tiresome maths my destiny yet again? Poor yarn. No longer a talisman of beauty, but a lowly raw material to be swallowed up by the zen/hell/and-all-in-between process of garment knitting.

For today, however, the perfect package lives here on my desk. There might be (maybe, you never know) a small hole in the protective plastic through which there could be fondling.

All is the moment, and the moment is good.