The Royal Bee – A New LYS

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I saw a thread on Ravlery ‘new yarn shop in pacifica’.  Yes Please!  Knowing nothing more than yesterday was the soft opening, I set out!  I haven’t had a spontaneous stash enhancement in a couple months!

It’s funny to read the old post and see that my decision was guided by parking.  I pulled up to Royal Bee yesterday completely in love with the PARKING LOT.  I couldn’t wait to take a picture of it!  ha ha.

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Rows of FREE PARKING!  Can you tell I live in the city?  Free parking is all it takes!  LOL!   So Royal Bee gets two thumbs up already!

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Once inside, the delights continued!  The beehive themed yarn wall is so pretty!  If I lived in a house with lots of wall space, I’d love to display my yarn like this!  Lots of interesting yarns here…some Rowan, a bunch of Skacel like Kenzie and Simplicity and HiKoo.  Yarns I know of but haven’t used.  A variety of fibers, colors, weights.  There was a bunch of sock yarn too.

I chatted with Kelley, the owner, a bit.  She’s super and definitely interested in recommendations.  My first suggestion was local yarns so I can’t wait to go back after the grand opening and see how the shop evolves.  (August 16th, details are here, if anyone wants them!)

It’s a poly-stitchual kinda place, with a really cute selection of fabrics and notions and whatnots.

And Rainbow Elastic!!  I love that stuff!  I use it in hats all the time!  It takes the worry out of stretch & fit.  Look at all those colors!  There were even more too.  I can’t wait for my next hat binge, which is due at any moment.  I know where to find the perfect Rainbow Elastic now!

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I picked up a couple balls of Llamor, 100% baby llama.  It’s so soft…perfect for cozy winter hats or August in Pacifica.

The best part of my purchase though, hands down, is the snarky cross stitch kits!  I couldn’t resist.  I finished the first one already.

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Not only have I finally figured out French Knots but this new fangled cross stitch kit innovation blew my mind:

 

 

The strands are held secure on the back so you just snip off a strand as you need it!  I love it!  I’ve started my second design already.  No sorting colors and wondering if I’ve labeled them right.  This little tag makes it so easy!

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I may have to redecorate my bathroom with snarky cross stitch now.  Assuming I can make the finishing work.  As much as I’ve cross stitched, I’ve never finished anything in the hoop.  The instructions involve cutting the excess aida away and installing a running thread.

I know what all those words mean.  How hard can it be?  Wish me luck!


 

WestKnits Surpreyes Bag!

Yay for WestKnits stash acquisition!  My package arrived in less than 72 hours from the time I placed my order!  Who doesn’t love that?!  I’m pleased to say, there’s no buyers remorse here!  This was a really fun box of goodies to open!

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I love the book!  (WestKnits Best Knits — the Mix Tape Tour book, I already had, it’s just there for size reference) It’s a larger format than the tour books from the past couple years and Stephen has started including e-book codes for Ravelry in the back cover!  I especially love that!  I asked and been unsuccessful in getting download codes for some of his other patterns I’ve bought as the print version.  I’m so happy he heard those requests and did something about it, even if it took a while!

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I love the project bag.  The eyes are so fun and it’s a heavy almost canvas fabric.  Perfect for people who cram way too much stuff into their bags, like me!

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And, even more importantly, I love the yarn.  It’s a variety of weights, fibers and colors.  I think it makes a great set though.  I’m feeling compelling to use it all in the same project.

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Going clockwise from noon, we’ve got the mustard color Arucania Nature Wool, 100% wool, aran weight.  Then that lovely grey, Holst Garn Supersoft 100% uld.  I think it’s fingering weight, if not lace weight.  I especially like this one because it’s not something I’ve seen in the US.  It reminds me of Brooklyn Tweed.

Continuing on, there’s a denim colored tweed, Berroco Blackstone Tweed.  Nothing fancy there but I’ve used it’s big brother, Blackstone Tweed Chunky, with great success.  In my WestKnits sweater, no less.

Finishing off the top corner, is a skein of Hedgehog Merino DK in color Stone.  It’s really lovely.  I’d have to be a fool to complain about that one!

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To really give it the Westknits feel, there’s a skein of mohair.  It’s not my favorite thing in the world and it’s probably the first thing I’ve give up from this collection but still…It’s the right color so I’ll figure it out!

And finally, a lovely, soft, blue skein of single ply superwash merino.  The label says it’s from etsy, but the shop is no longer open.

I have no idea what to make with this pile but it’s gonna be good when I finally figure it out.  I’m sure I can make the colors into something awesome.  I’m not sure how to deal with the different weights just yet but I know the answer is out there.  I just need to find it.

My only debate…do I add my own stash to the mix or do I use only what’s here for a project.  It’ll be a while before I get to it so I’ve got plenty of time to decide!


 

Spontaneous Stash Enhancement

Ever set out for the vet’s office to pick up cat meds but somehow wind up in an a yarn store buying armfuls of rainbows?  No?  Me either…until yesterday, that is!

Don’t worry, the cat still got his meds.  I’m not sure there’s a cure for this though:

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After that, I decided to continue along the scenic route to my next destination.  That happened to be the coast highway, which happened to take me two blocks from a yarn store.  I told myself I’d stop if parking was available.  Quaint coastal town, Saturday afternoon with big surf and almost no rain?  I knew for sure, I was just wasting my time cruising down Main St.

Except this happened!!!

Clearly, Elizabeth Zimmerman’s ghost was watching over me and knew, this is exactly what I needed!  There was rock star parking and a lovely rack of Noro’s Rainbow Rolls just inside the door!

I’ve had my eye on this yarn since Noro released it 18 months ago.  This was the first time I’ve come across it in a shop!  It’s an unspun pencil roving.  Which, it turns out, is some of the best icelandic yarn, Plutolopi.

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Which, I happened to stock up on, during my Icelandic Adventure.

I’ve used some of it to make this sweater:  image_medium2

This was my first steeked sweater.  It’s okay.  I still wear it.  It has some warts though.  I was never happy with the hook and eyes closures.  And the crochet edge wobbles a bit.  I never got the tension quite right.  It’s amazing how one little detail can fuck up all that amazing knitting.  Oh well.  I still wear it.  I just wish it was more polished.  So…

I’ve been dreaming of a striped Plutolopi sweater ever since.  I had plenty of colors, I certainly didn’t NEED any Noro.  I only (lowercase) needed it.  It’s gonna be amazing!  I can’t wait!! There will be no buyer’s remorse today…or any day there’s a Rainbow Roll involved!!

I should probably finish my other pencil roving sweater first.  It’s literally at the bottom of the pile, it’s been so long since I touched it.

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Size 13 needles…once I excavate it from the pile, it should go quick.  in theory.

Sooooo much yarn, so little time!  It makes me miss my first apartment in San Francisco.  There was a giant claw foot tub!  I’d love to pile my stash in a claw foot tub…you know, just for fun.  Yeah…you know!

The point is:  a renewed sense of urgency has struck my sweater knitting elbow…maybe I’ll have a sweater update for you soon!

 

 

Rhinebeck Round-Up

It seems so long ago already and yet, it’s been less than a week since Rhinebeck.  One thing is for sure, one day is not enough! Here’s what I did see in my one day…

Everything from Sheep to Shawl!

 And I came home with a few goodies too!

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A gradient kit from Good Karma Farms!  The peacock colors called to me.  Resistance was futile!  No idea what I’ll do with it.  Maybe something 3-color cashmere cowl inspired.  Maybe some sequence knitting, I do love a good texture.  For now, I’m just petting it…it’s delightful!

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And in the surprise of the weekend, two skeins of Miss Babs Rhinebeck 2016 colorway!  A skein of Caroline, (on the left) the new MCN base that’s 20% cashmere!!  and a skein of Kaweah, (on the right) the dk weight merino workhorse.

We waited the crowd out, it was after 1 pm by the time we got to Miss Babs.  I wasn’t expecting to see any of the special color left.  But when there were a few skeins remaining and the line was less than 10 minutes long.  Again, resistance was futile.  No idea what these will become either but I like the idea of using them together.   It could create a neat effect or maybe it’ll be so busy it hurts?  I dunno…haven’t decided yet.

And then there’s the yarn Mom & I dyed!

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A sparkle sock blank!!  Size 0 needles should be coming in the mail today.  I’m gonna try really hard to not hate knitting socks.  This yarn is so fun…that should help!

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and this guy, a skein of HiKoo’s SimpliNatural, it’s a merino/alpaca/silk blend.  It’s soooooo soft!  With all the fall foliage inspired yarns out there, we had a go at creating our own leaf peepers yarn.  I can’t wait to see how it knits up!!

I think this might be a cast on all the things weekend.   :)  I don’t see any way around it.

Southern Skies Expansion

Progress continues with my renewed enthusiasm for the Southern Skies shawl!  I stretched it out on two long cords to check out just how much progress I’d made.  It seemed like a lot…

…until the yard stick came out.  Circle shawls need to be extra huge…this is no where near done.  Except, I’m nearly out of yarn…

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That’s all I’ve got left.  That’s it.

Apparently, I decided 660 yards would be just enough to cover the patterns recommended 1200 yards?!?!

True Story.

And then, just to reinforce how far off I am, I did a little math.  I’ve completed charts A, B, C & D for a total of 17,856 stitches.  I’ve just started chart E , with 576 sts/row, has a whopping total of 31,104 stitches.

Meaning I’m not even half done, I’ve got just over one-third completed but I’ve used half the yardage necessary.  Thank you, loose knitting for reminding me, I’ll actually need 300 yards extra to compensate for my gauge!

What the heck was I thinking?!?  I’m pained to have so many projects run short of yarn lately, knitting from the stash is expensive!?!  (The crochet shawl is still stalled, just waiting on more yarn in the mail.)  This is definitely an argument for planned shopping and hesitant stashing.  One day, I’ll be better at that.  In the meantime, the decision is pretty clear here.

 

This is too gorgeous to abandon now and that’s nothing compared to how it feels!  It’s purple cashmere…there’s no way it’s a bad decision.  It just stings a little, champagne taste on a beer budget, ya know?  So, while I sulk over having to buy more cashmere (really?!?), I’m swatching with these goodies from the stash…

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Some of Mom’s hand dyed Unicorn Farts and rainbow beads I got in a de-stash last year!

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It’s a holiday weekend, why not have a little cast on party?  It’s been 5 whole days since my last cast on!  5 AND a half, if we’re being precise!  What could possibly go wrong?

Addicted to Bulky Yarn!

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My Vivido Cardigan grows by leaps and bounds every time I pick it up!  I’ve joined the second ball of Kathmandu Chunky and prepped for the sleeve divide!   That’s 142 yards to get to the sleeve divide!  Amazing!  I’m really having a moment with bulky yarn this week!

I finished my  bulky hat in the blink of an eye!  It’s hard to argue with the instant gratification factor!  Pleased with my hat, I decided I needed a sweater quantity of the yarn, Imperial Yarns Bulky Pencil Roving!

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I picked this lovely sage green.

And then I went to see Star Wars.  Finally!  All the working stiffs had to get back to the office so I had the theater to myself!   It seems the last two minutes got a lot of attention, justifiably.  It was the moment everyone was waiting for.  I thought it lived up to the hype, delivering the character development and the sweet pangs of nostalgia everyone hoped for.  Blah blah blah.  It was good.  But did you see what she was wearing???

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A WELTED VEST?!!?  I’ve wanted a welted vest for many moons.  I’ve passed it up for a welted skirt, sweaters with sleeves and way too many cat mohawks.   And then I looked at the new stash acquisition.  It was so obvious.  Meant to be, clearly.  Now to make it happen…

…If only my hands could keep up with all my ideas.

Saturday Stash Acquisition

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman with a lovely record collection.  I could have spent hours reading liner notes and looking at album art but I had to make due with a quick flip through!  Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark caught my eye!  Not because I’m a fan.  In fact, I didn’t even know such an album existed.

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I did know that MadelineTosh has a colorway called Court & Spark though.  It’s such a specific name, I knew it had a reference and it’s a beautiful color!  And now, it’s mine!  <insert evil laugh here> MINE!

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I didn’t really need it, but Tosh Merino.  Seriousleeeeeeee?  How does one resist?  I haven’t figured it out.  I had store credit to pay for it.  Plus, I need to knit a hat called ‘Less Pants, More Banjo’.  I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what Court & Spark is about.  Let the knitting begin!