Stash Enhancement

After a period of losing local yarn shops, San Francisco got a new shop over the long weekend!  Woo!  Firebird Yarns…right on Haight Street…a great location for tourists and locals, alike.   I can’t wait to see how things develop there.  I hope the shop continues to grow and sticks around for long time.

It hit a lot of current trends…indie dyers, gradient yarns, mini skeins, speckles galore!  All things I like.  The indie variety was impressive…Loft Twenty Two, Houndstooth Fiber Arts, Hula Hut Yarn, Mad Science Yarns (great color names here–tesla coil, genetically modified berries, perfect mad science names!).

And now, here’s my plea to those indie dyers…please, please, please expand your offerings beyond superwash.  There is a market for non-superwash yarns, especially considering how many of those superwash yarns are labeled ‘hand wash cold, lay flat to dry’.  That’s not how superwash works.

With that in mind, the shop did have one special yarn, non-superwash, sheep raised in Texas, milled out in the Sacramento Valley.  It’s a great color too, so I had to buy a skein.  It’s a bulky single ply with a bit of thick and thin happening.  No idea what I’ll do with it, but I’m sure it’ll be good!  It’s a nice soft yarn!

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Of course, I can’t resist a good speckle so I picked up a skein of Hula Hut Yarn too.

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I’ve got a good collection of green yarns now, this could be my next cast on!  Perhaps at the end of the week, after my job interview.  I’ve got 48 hours left to prepare…so it’s all work until then!  I’d say ‘wish me luck’ but this is definitely the type of situation where you make your own luck.  I’m feeling good about my presentation but I’ve still got lots of fine tuning to do.  What I really need is two days of distraction free focus.  (that might be where the luck comes in!)  I’ll keep you posted!  :)


 

Happy Friday!

Look Familiar?  Not much has changed.  Things have been meandering along this week.  I tried to generate some excitement last week but it didn’t work.

The baby sweater I cast on is sitting untouched in the corner.  I’m not sure the stripes I chose are a good idea, maybe I should just stick with the color blocking?  I still haven’t cast on a Local Yarn Shawl.  My colors aren’t quite right.  I need to dive a bit deeper into the stash.  Just a lot of meh going on.

May the Fourth inspired me to pull R2-D2 out of his corner.  And while, he’s gotten lots of love this week, it’s not entirely obvious, thanks to the effect of white stitches on a very pale blue background.  It doesn’t help that cross stitch makes knitting seem fast and efficient when done by hand.

Even my beloved Dotted Rays is stuck in a pit of ennui (<-that’s how bad it is, it’s turned French?!?).  Progress is being made, and it’s going to be awesome.  I’m ready for it to be done though.  It’s grown to very cumbersome, shlanket proportions.

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It WILL be done soon and I’m going to love wearing it.  Even that ‘purple’ stripe that is totally skewing pink is going to be great.  The whole thing is terrific.  Terrific is not exciting though.

And then, just when I thought all hope was lost, that moment when vacuuming seemed like a better idea than crafting…the mailman showed up!  Phew!  It was a close call.  The mailman arrived just in time.  He brought me a package from my Mom, a sort of reverse Mother’s Day package!  It’s an especially good one…

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Not one but TWO skeins of Magical Tundra Qiviut!  For those not in the know about this stuff, it’s the epitome of luxury fiber.  An incredibly soft, incredibly warm, incredibly lofty fiber from the arctic musk ox!  I always visit the musk ox booth at Stitches to pet the skeins but I’ve never brought any home with me.  This is Excitement (<- capital E!)

And, it turns out, fancy musk ox yarn, isn’t even the most exciting part of this package. Mom also sent 1000 yards of her own hand dyed amazingness!

Yes, FriYAY can officially commence now.  I love all of these colors!  I can’t wait to wind and swatch all afternoon!  Turns out I wasn’t meandering or bored all week.  I was just waiting for the right moment to get excited!  Patience is, indeed, a virtue. Wooooooo!

Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve all got excitement on your needles too!

 

 

 

Stitches West 2018

Before I get into Stitches, I’ve got one last Olympic photo left on my desktop.

Behold…the Clipboard of Power!

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I laughed so hard when I saw that.  Also, I want one!  Clipboards definitely give you super powers.  This one must be very special.  I bet they needed specific training before being allowed to handle it.  Yup, I definitely want one.

List #1 for the Clipboard of Power…all the yarns I want to buy next year.

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Neighborhood Fiber Co for starters.  I was drawn back to their booth so many times.  Surprisingly, I bought nothing there??

Hedgehog Fibers…nope, didn’t bring any home?!  A Verb for Keeping Warm…it was gorgeous, didn’t buy any though.  I passed up the Shibui booth entirely.  I never visited the Yarn Over Truck.  YOTH…not this year.  Sincere Sheep, such a shame to miss.

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Frankly, once I gave myself permission to buy whatever I wanted, it’s amazing that this is all I came home with:

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So where DID I shop?

First stop:  Miss Babs

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That’s five skeins of Yowza caked up at the top of the photo.  It’s the yarn that set my color palette for the weekend and for year one of nephew knitting.  I hit the teal-purple-grey with a pop of chartreuse color scheme pretty hard this year.  If I’m going to do all this baby knitting, I may as well like it.

Those five skeins are going to become the ultimate Rebecca Danger layette set — a monster blanket and a monster sweater, both with pockets for monster friends.  There will be a whole gaggle of monster friends and whatever else I can squeeze out of those 2800 yards.  That’s 1.6 miles of yarn.  It sounds like a lot.  I’m not convinced though.  Good thing I kept shopping…

Next, KnitPicks.  I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with them.  Love the product, hate the shipping issues.  Being able to buy their yarns in person, even if it’s only at special events, is awesome!

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I got a couple hanks of the new worsted weight yarn, Provincial Tweed.  It’s got baby sweater potential.  I love tweed for it’s ability to hide pills.  I’m guessing it will hide spit up pretty well too?!

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And of course, fan favorite, self-striping sock yarn, Felici.  I don’t even knit socks but show special $3.50/ball…how do you resist that?  Blaming this one on the impending baby as well…thinking a Baby Vertebrae and a set of little baby leg warmers.  Chubby baby legs wrapped in yarn are pretty adorable.  Once the idea was planted, there was no ignoring it.

Still, though, I wasn’t done.  Zombie Yarns was definitely calling my name.  I can’t wait to knit this.  I got the ‘Playful Monster’ yarn pack to make the ‘Playful Monster Hoodie’.  I’m not sure it’s monster enough though.  I may have to put some monster ears on it to jazz it up a little more.  (and also knit it in my size!)

 

Never fear though, I did by some yarn for myself.  I know you were probably concerned about that.  I think I’ve finally collected enough speckles for a speckle fade cardi!!

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A couple finds from the Western Sky Knits sale bin (the two on the left)!  $15 speckles! Yes Please!  In the middle, a gorgeous purple speckle from Hooker’s Corner called Wisterious.  Love it!  On the right, another purple speckle, this one from Arucania.

I think getting out the rest of the collection for a full fade inspection will really be the motivation I need to cast on a fingering weight sweater.

And finally, there’s the first yarn to make it onto needles.  It’s Valley Yarns, Goshen – a cotton/tencel/silk blend.  A July baby needs a cotton blanket!

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A bit of a swatch and off I went…

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I’m just happy it’s not a hat!  :)  I’m making good progress.  Fingers crossed I can resist the urge to cast on more new yarn.  It’s time to finish my current sweater WIP.  A little focus goes a long way!


 

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.


 

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!


 

Today I Tell the Truth

You’re going to figure it out eventually, I might as well come clean.  Just get it out in the open.  Honesty is the best policy and all that.  Here goes…

Hi, my name is Emily and I’m a yarn addict.  I masquerade as a knitter pretty well but truth be told, I’m a yarn collector who knits on occasion.

Phew!  I feel better already! I’m not ready to show you just yet but one day, maybe even one day soon, I’ll flash the stash for you.  It’s pretty exciting.  I can share the latest addition to my happy family though…

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This is 90 gorgeous yards of british longwool, Blue Faced Leicester, hand dyed and hand spun by my friend, Linda! That’s right…she made this yarn!! and then gave it to me!!  Despite my strict 10 project policy, I did wind it and start a gauge swatch immediately!  It would be rude not to!

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I love it!  The color is amazing!  It was dyed with Wilton’s Cake dye…!!!  So cool! And non-toxic! I’m thinking it’s just enough yardage to become a hat!  If I do the dreaded top down construction, I’ll be able to use every last inch!  I’m having visions of an icord bind off in black to make the heathering really pop!  Time to stop talking and start KNITTING!