Knittus Interruptus

I made it all the way to January 31st before I broke down and bought yarn.  Despite my ardent claims, we all knew it was going to happen.  I really did mean it though.  I thought I’d make it into February before I came up with an excuse.  And, I do think I’ve got a good excuse…

 

This is the Striped Asymmetry wrap.  I was supposed to have the exact right yarn for this project.  Woolfolk Tynd, the yarn the pattern calls for.

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Turns out, I didn’t.  And, I’m so far off, I can’t even call this a yarn chicken fail.  The stripe pattern needs to continue on, consuming the grey tail up top, as the stripes continue.  That’s still a lot of tail stitches to use up.   I must’ve misread the pattern.  Losing the pattern page with those details on it probably didn’t help.

So you can see where this is going.  I bought this yarn back in September at the Knitterly, in Petaluma.  I figured it couldn’t hurt to call and see if they still had it.  And sure enough, they had a dye lot match!  My lucky day!

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How could I not buy that?  It’s the rest of the pile I probably didn’t need…

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Neon green acrylic…going to be part of the bike project I’m working on.  I didn’t need the yardage but the project is missing some green pops.  It’s sort of justified.  Also, only $6.

Price is my justification for the other two skeins as well.  YOTH Little Brother, from the clearance section.  It was 70% off, only $8/skein.  It’s a little fuzzy from being kicked around but that’s what cashmere does.  At $8/skein, it’s irresistible.  I had to buy it.  HAD TO.

Plus, look at all this yarn I didn’t buy…

I resisted a lot!  I have no regrets!  NONE!  Not only that, I’m glad about it!  It was a beautiful day to be traipsing across the bridge!

I stopped for bridge pics coming and going and I even managed a little trip to the beach and some knitting time.

Nope, not one single complaint about it.

I really mean it this time though…I’m not buying any yarn for the next three weeks.  Then it’s Stitches.  Of course I’ll buy yarn at Stitches.  I’ve got a justification for that too (details to follow).  Maybe a more reasonable goal is to only buy yarn once a month??  I think I could do that?!

Maybe.


 

WIP Wednesday – A New Sweater

Before I show you my new sweater project, let’s take a moment to bask in the glory of this amazing yarn!

This is a DK weight, 100% baby llama yarn my Mom dyed and sent me for Christmas.  I absolutely love it!  Mom used an ice dying technique that I don’t think is common among yarn dyers but seeing the results, it should be!

You prep your yarn as normal and then pack it in ice.  You sprinkle dye powder on top of the ice.  As it melts, the dye is solubilized and trickles down to the fiber below.  The result is all kinds of unexpected fun!  The chartreusey green dye broke into it’s base components giving an amazing array of gold and yellow tones while still maintaining much of it’s greenness.

I love it.  So much complexity from one dye and some ice.  I can’t wait to use it.  It’s 220 yards.  I’m thinking cowl.  We’ll see.  Maybe even some sort of lace leaf motif.  Just as spring starts springing, I usually have a fit that only this color can calm.  It’s gonna be good.

In the meantime, this is my palate…

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Thank you Noro!  This is the Noro Rainbow Roll, a 100% wool pencil roving.  It’s surprisingly soft for a Noro yarn.  It’s certainly softer than the yarn I’m pairing it with, Plutolopi, an unspun Icelandic yarn.

I’m pretending they’re the same gauge, even though they aren’t.  The lopi is distinctly thinner.  I think it works though.  I like the swatch.  I’m going with it.

The plan was generic top-down, raglan cardigan.  The gauge worked out perfectly for Vivido, though.  My two favorite cardigans are this pattern.  One of them is well past it’s expiration date.  I keep repairing it but it really should be retired.  So, in the spirit of if-it-ain’t-broke, my new sweater is another Vivido.

It’s going well, but the plan has definitely changed already.  My original intention was a striped cardigan.  As I work these stripes though, they’re a little busy.  I’m not sure I need that all over my body.

The new plan is striped yoke, solid brown body.  That’s a totally fair compromise.  Plus, I wouldn’t mind having some of this Noro left over.  It really is soft.  I’m feeling the urge to stash more!  (it’s only $11 at Webs right now!?!?)

(and Noro is prone to discontinue this.  It’s definitely a specialty item.)

(I’m gonna try really hard to resist.)

(I should probably use this pile first!)

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(I think I’ve talked myself off the ledge.  For now.)

 

Weekend Stash Enhancement

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I visited another new bay area yarn shop this weekend, The Black Squirrel in Berkeley.  It’s a nice, bright, open space with an amazing yarn wall.  They have a small, trendy selection of yarn.

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It’s kind of amazing that I only came home with three skeins.  I don’t usually do trends but speckle yarn is one trend I am on board with!

There were maybe 3 or 4 different indie dyers represented on the wall.  I went with Spun Right Round, a dyer from Rochester, NY.  This is the sock base, an 80/20 superwash wool/nylon blend.  In colors Caterpillar and Idle Gossip.

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For a quick minute, I thought, I should do one of those faded sweaters.  I think I’ve come to my senses since then.  I’ve got too many WIPs for that but just in case I decide to do a fade of some kind, my third color is the perfect neutral for a fade, Newsprint.

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White with black speckles…an instant classic!

I’m not casting the yarn on yet but I did have time for another little project I picked up.

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A christmas ornament cross-stitch kit.

They worked up quick and turned out super cute.

 

Pre-Thanksgiving isn’t too early for a Christmas tree, is it?

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And, I managed to make progress, this weekend, on the Bill Murray Sweater too.  Good progress I think.  I’ll share some details and photos for WIP Wednesday!   Hopefully it’ll look like something by then!


 

Stash Enhancement

Once again, the stash has grown.  I ventured north out of town last weekend.  2017-09-15_13-44-25_340

North means Knitterly in Petaluma.  It’s a really cute shop and the staff is lovely.

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I stop whenever I can.  I didn’t think I was having a yarn bonanza.  I thought I was making one small stop.

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I bought three skeins of Woolfolk Tynd.  It’s amazing.  It’s soooooooo soft.  And, in all my time hanging around yarn shops, I’ve never used any Woolfolk.  This seemed like a good excuse.

That was it.  Just three skeins.

I honestly thought I was done buying yarn for the weekend.

Until.  I. Remembered. This.

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Really?  Did I plan a trip to Mendocino without realizing it was the same weekend as the county fair which just so happens to include the California Wool Show??  Yes.  Yes, I did.

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As soon as I realized this, I was on my way.  An hour drive out and an hour drive back, left me with two hours of county fair & yarn shopping time before I needed to be back for the wedding.  You know, the reason I went north in the first place.  Not the yarn.  Yarn just happens.  Who am I to say no?

I had time for knitting & curly fries.  Not actually a great combination.  Greasy fingers.  Once I cleaned up, I did manage to find a little bit more yarn I liked at Sincere Sheep.

 

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Indigo & natural dyed gradient on Cormo grown in Wyoming!  And it’s not superwash!  Sign me the heck up!!

Cormo is awesome.  It’s a Corriedale – Merino cross.   We all know the softness of Merino! Corriedale has a long staple length which brings in a sturdy, hardwearing quality.   The result is a soft, springy yarn that wears wells.

That made this, entirely irresistable:

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It’s a kit for the Andrea Mowry shawl, Briochealicious.  It’s a crescent shaped shawl with alternating bands of brioche and garter stitch.  It’s going to be mega squish heaven!  The squish of the brioche compounded by the squish of the yarn!  I can’t wait.

I have to though.  Because there’s this.

An amazing blue & grey colorway from Nerd Girl Yarns called My Internet Friends are Real, from an internet friend, naturally.  It’s even more gorgeous than it looks.  I’m thinking a hat, from Woolly Wormhead, Sumner.  I like the structure of it.

We’ll see…so much knitting.  I need to do some finishing first!  I think cat sweater #2 should be next.  It’s time.  I’m ready to be wearing a cat sweater.   Obviously.  Must. Knit. Faster!


 

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!