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!


 

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!


 

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!