Moths are not welcome here. I must protect my stash no matter what. Even if it means resorting to murder.
If you happen to be a moth reading this post, you have been warned. Now... go tell your friends.
This was in the last package I received from my secret pal during Secret Pal 10. Did I get lucky or what?! Three skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in color 24 (deep red), a Chick Knits pattern book, a book on The Language of Happiness, New Yorker Cats note cards, a mini spa kit, a hand care kit and a cute little magnet. Who was behine all the wonderful gifts the past few months? Alissa at Lis knits, too. Thanks Alissa!
And finally... even though the knitting content here has been bleak, there has been a little going on. A couple of months ago my coworker discovered she has breast cancer. I wanted to make her something that was both useful and comforting. I chose a hat in her favorite color pink.
Pattern: Dude, where's my hat? from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Beyond the Basics
It would have to be a baby with mighty fat feet. I put the pen in for scale. The sock doesn't look as big in the picture as it really is. I think these would even be too big for a 3 year old. We used worsted weight yarn, size 7 needles. Oh yeah, and I'm a loose knitter (get your mind out of the gutter!). So no matching sock for this lonely sole. (heh) I bound off to pratice the sewn cast off rather than continuing up the leg.
The class accomplished exactly what I wanted.
The Thelonious Sock,
But first I'll try something a little more simple! I'm glad I took the class. I don't have a preference to top-down vs. toe-up. I think I have to actually make a few pair before having an opinion. I find it interesting that a lot of people prefer toe-up because they don't like doing the kitchener stitch over a few stitches at the end, yet they'll do a sewn cast-off over 64 stitches. They seem very similar to me. Maybe they do a different bind-off. I know there are other benefits to toe-up. You get past the fussier parts at the beginning and you can knit until you run out of yarn. I wonder what my prefernce will be.
My knitting hiatus seems to be ending. What did I do in my free time if I wasn't knitting, you ask?
I've been playing in the kitchen. We have an apricot and plum tree. We've been told the apricot tree is dying, but it put out a good crop this year. I didn't want the fruit to go to waste like it has in the past, so I made preserves. It's been fun! And tasty! I'll definitely do it again.
On a final note, Ali at Skeins Her Way is having another contest. Let her know I sent you. Good luck!
I couldn't capture the subtle varigation of color very well on camera, but there is quite a lot of purple hues throughout the yarn. I've read such great things about Sundara's yarn on various blogs. Now that I have some for myself, I highly recommend it. It has great skwoosh factor and I love, love, love subtle color varigated yarn. I'm not sure if I'll save this for socks or a baby sweater. It will be awhile before I get to it.
I'm taking a class with Cookie A. this Thursday. Hoping the sock bug will bite!
(gasp!) Rowan Felted Tweed (shade 155)!
Rowan Polar (shade 654)!
Sigh. It's a nice fantasy. These are actually some of my finds from the Black Sheep Knittery sale in May. There has been very little knitting going on here lately. Hopefully that will change soon. Here's an update on the grey sweater:
The back, one side of the front and a sleeve are done. It's growing. Very slowly.
4. Last, but not least, finish inputting my stash into the spreadsheet. I'm 1/3 done and I've been entering new yarns that sneak into the house before I put them away in the bins. That's my new rule - must enter yarn in computer before putting it away. That way the amount of yarn needing to be entered doesn't continue to grow and overwhelm me.
I think I'll keep it at that. I have a tendency to make some pretty lofty goals. These are some big projects and I want to remain realistic here. I better get knitting!
This weekend I'll post a WIP report on the gray sweater.
The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in color 300501. I used size 5 dpns, which is smaller than the recommended size for the pattern & yarn, but I wanted the hat to be on the smaller size so that it will fit him right now. This was a super quick project. Started May 16th - finished May 19th. Done in two sittings. Now I hope it fits!
Have you heard about Raverly? It's going to be an online knit & crochet community where you can organize and share your projects with others. Pretty cool. It isn't up and running yet for the public. They're testing the system to work out any kinks. But you can put your name on the waiting list. They're slowly adding people to the system. Another way to meet fellow yarn addicts around the world!
Inside there was stash enhancement:
There was also a pretty handmade card, some skincare products from Crabtree & Evelyn to pamper myself with, some Lemon Dill mix for dip, lemon candies, a photo album, a cat book and a blank card that I can use to send to someone else.
I'd like to send out a sincere thank you to my secret pal!
2) This is how much sock yarn I have (minus 2 new skeins of Koigu that didn't make it into the picture). Actually, this is just from one bin. I just remembered I have more in the other bins. All this beautiful sock yarn and I still have not cast-on. I'm beginning to think I have a knitting-sock-phobia. (sigh)
3) After giving it much thought, this experience has confirmed that alpaca is my favorite fiber. It's so soft. Now, I admit, I've never knit with 100% cashmere. If I ever do, that might change the way I feel about the subject. At this point in time, I'm an alpaca girl all the way.
Nonetheless, here's an update.
Last year at Stitches I didn't know who Blue Moon Fiber was and had never heard of Socks That Rock. I just remember everyone going crazy at the dinners when they would raffle off their yarn. Now I understand what all the fuss is about. It's worth waiting in a long line.
Next up is Black Water Abbey. On the left is Pink Heather, enough to make myself a sweater. On the right is Wheat, enough to make a sweater for the husband.
The yarn is pretty scratchy, but I think it will soften some after washing. The color choices are gorgeous. I think I stood in their booth for an hour trying to pick a color. I wanted all of them. I predict I'll be buying more of their colorways in the future. This would make a great coat with the right pattern.This is 4 skeins of Brooks Farm Four Play. The color doesn't have a name, just the number PB7. It's darker than the picture suggests. More of a burgundy red. I'm planning to make Wicked with this.
This was in the fashion show and I really liked it. I started looking at Noro at the Webs booth to see if I could find a color I liked. As if that wouldn't happen. ; )
I found this. It's Kureyon in color 185. And it became an early birthday present from my MIL who never knows what to get me. I keep telling her yarn is always a good idea! She's finally caught on.
And finally, (you were probably wondering when it was going to end) I was so inspired by Jane Sowerby who spoke during the Opening Day event and showed every single piece from her lovely book, Victorian Lace Today,
that I bought the book and began a crazed search for lace yarn. This was a surprise. While I admire the beauty of lace knitting, I still held the idea that lace was granny-ish. I know. I know. It's a terrible way to think. And I'm ashamed. We don't like it when knitting is referenced to 'old ladies' and we know that there are women and men of all ages and backgrounds who knit. Why should lace be any different. And while I've been intrigued by lace patterns, I just never thought I would actually wear a lace shawl. Well, Miss Sowerby has changed that! Just like the title of her book, she has shown how Victorian Lace can be modernized and truly fashionable.
And so I bought this:
Three cones of Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk from Webs. Colors from left to right are Dark Gray, Dahlia and Black. It's 80% alpaca, 20% silk. Very soft. I can't wait to try it.
Now after reviewing all my new goodies, I want to start knitting them all up! This is why I have Project ADD. I'm lured by the softness and the colors and the patterns...There simply isn't enough time in a day to enjoy all the knitting world has to offer - even if I didn't work. And I need to work so I can afford this addiction I adore.
Happy knitting everyone!
Next, I'll share my favorite purchase from Stitches with you.