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Archive for the ‘Yarn Collecting’ Category

Laura has has released her latest and greatest sock pattern and get ready to add this one to your queue. It’s named Algernon after Oscar Wilder’s character in The Importance of Being Earnest, and I must confess, I’m in love with Algernon.

Pattern: Algernon by Laura Patterson
Source: Fiber Dreams and Ravelry
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Cranberry (2 skeins)
Needles: Knit Picks Circular 2.5 mm / US 1.5
Raveled Here

When I originally saw the chart for this sock, I kept rechecking to make sure this was a Laura Patterson design and not a Cookie A design. Anyone who has knit a Cookie pattern knows that some of her charts can make your eyes pop out of your head. However, I say that with the greatest of respect for her designs. Then, I started knitting it and realized that although the chart looked daunting, it wasn’t. It’s absolutely brilliant and I think one of the most beautiful cable motifs I’ve knit in a long time. Can’t you just picture this on a beautiful sweater or pair of mitts?

The main cable motif runs down just the front of the leg and top of the foot.

The other cable motif is repeated in three sections around the sides and back of the leg. There’s also a little tiny 1×1 twisted cable that separates each cable motif section. It’s so cute and oh so easy to do without a cable needle.

I personally was able to work all the cables without a cable needle which is a wonderful thing and I really only had to pay semi close attention to the main cable on the top of the leg and foot. The other cable was easily memorized and the socks were a complete joy to knit. I’m going to give Laura a big Bravo on this pattern.

Although the Posh Yarn Laura used on the original is heavenly to the touch, I really liked The Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock yarn because I thought it showed the stitch detail beautifully. In fact, it worked out so well, that I went to The Loopy Ewe and used my birthday gift card from Laura to purchase more, along with some Noro Silk Garden Sock.

I also may have added some fiber to my order. After all, I needed to spend enough to get the free shipping.

From Left to Right:

  • The Sanguine Gryphon Handpainted Merino Silk; 4 ounces; Madame Riviere
  • Gale’s Art Black BFL; 4 ounces; Stormy Sea
  • Scarlett O’Hara Merino Bamboo; 4 ounces; Sweet Sheri

I have so much other FO knitting and spinning to share with you, but this post is already too long, so you’ll just have to wait. 🙂

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It’s so great to have another FO to blog about, and probably a shock to most of you that I’m posting so soon. Last post was knitting and now for spinning.

My wonderful friend Micki sent this lovely fiber to me as a “welcome to spinning” gift. I loved it when I saw it and loved it even more while I was spinning it.

hand dyed by: PigeonRoof Studios (etsy)
4.1 ounces corriedale
colorway: Dovecote

Spinning thin singles doesn’t seem to be a problem for me, so I did attempt to spin these singles a bit thicker, but staying consistent was more difficult than I thought it would be. Unfortunately there were some thin and thick spots throughout both bobbins of singles and I hoped plying would hide the flaws.

This is the first time I’ve spun yarn that when plied, gives a barberpole-like effect. If I would’ve known what I was doing, I probably could’ve split the fiber in a better way as to not have the same colored single occasionally end up plied together, but this is all a learning experience so it’s not like I’m disappointed. I think it looks pretty good for my fourth handspun skein of yarn.

After plying I checked the wpi (wraps per inch) and it was 18. After I washed, thwacked and hung the yarn to dry, it bloomed and ended up at 16 wpi.

2-ply sportweight
276 yards / 111 grams

Thus far, this is my favorite skein of handspun. I checked my Ravelry queue, and I think I’m going to make the Morning Surf Scarf featured in the current issue of Spin-Off magazine. I found another Raveler who knit the pattern in sport weight yarn casting on 26 sts with a size 3.25mm needle and only used 200 yards. I wonder if I cast on 36 sts if I’ll need more than the 276 yards that this skein has. Does anyone know how to calculate that or do I just jump right in and cross my fingers?

My latest yarn collecting came way by means of a contest. I don’t enter blog contests nearly as much as I used to, but this one caught my eye since it was for a skein of Wollemeise. I’ve repeatedly stalked The Loopy Ewe website during the “sneak-ups” to get my hands on some, but it’s all sold out by the time I get there. Thankfully Emma came to the rescue and put a skein of Wollmeise up as a prize for her blog contest and lucky me, I won.

yarn: Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20
colorway: Dani

There’s 574 yards in a 150 gm skein. Unbelievable! Thank you Emma for such a great prize

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Thanks to one of my wonderful blog readers, (anyone want to fess up?) they clicked on one of The Loopy Ewe links from my blog site, and then set up an account and purchased something. The Loopy Ewe gave me a credit for that, so of course I spent it (and then some). Now in my fiber and yarn stash I have a little more fiber:

Merino Mother of Pearl

The Dyeing Arts
100% Superwash Merino Wool
4 ounces
colorway: Mother of Pearl
lot: 041408

And a little more yarn

Rio de la Plata sock multicolor

Rio de la Plata: Sock Multicolor
colorway: SP32
437 yards of fingering weight
According to the tag, the colors in this yarn are Wood Thrush, Crimson, Posy Green, Chestnut, Indian Teal, and Black. Personally, I just like that it looks handspun.

Dream in Color Baby Gothic Rose

Dream in Color: Baby
colorway: Gothic Rose VB340
700 yards of lace weight

I have a few project around here that I’m tying up loose ends on, so in the FO department, this is all you get for now.

Hearts Dishcloth

Project: Be My Dishcloth by Kristen Patay (Ravelry)
Yarn: Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Solid in Cream
Needles: Knit Picks Circular 3.25 mm / US 3

Of course this would look much better blocked, but to distract you from that, I’m going to send you off to Kristen’s Ravelry design page to check out her other dishcloth patterns. There’s not many there so I sure hope she adds more to her collection soon.

Although this dishcloth is cute, I must say I have favorites and they are this one and that one. In fact, I liked them so much, I kept them for myself. Anyone care to share their favorite dishcloth pattern?

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Fly-By Post

I just wanted to give you all a quick post to remind you that I’m leaving on vacation (in 6 hours) for ten days and I may or may not have internet access. If I do, I’ll probably tease share with you a photo or two of the beach or a tropical drink or my toes in the water. If I don’t, then things will be pretty quiet around here or awhile.

Taureg

That reminds me, my airplane knitting will be this lovely skein of yarn.  If you like knitting with laceweight yarn, or are interested in trying it, you must get your hands on some of this. It’s Malabrigo Lace and if you’ve ever knit with Malabrigo before, I promise you’ll love this just as much … maybe more. Each skein is 470 yards / 50 grams and although I know The Loopy Ewe carries it, they didn’t have the colorway I wanted, so I purchased mine from Twist. I recommend both of these places without hesitation. They really know how to put the customer first. This particular colorway is Taureg and I’m using it to test knit another stunning stole design by Laura. I’m so lucky.

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I’m so late in getting this post out, but things are crazy here. I’m leaving for vacation Friday morning and since I lost 25 pounds since last year at this time, none of my summer weather clothing fits. I’m not complaining about having to shop for clothing in a smaller size, it’s just that since I have 15 more pounds to go, these will just be in-between clothes, so it kind of feels like a waste of money. Money that could be spent on fiber.
Fiber Trends Felted Clogs

Pattern: Felted Clogs by Bev Galeskas
Source: Fiber Trends
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes; (2) skeins Black Cherry Heather, (4) skeins Gray Heather
Needles: Knit Picks Options 9.0 mm / US 1
Ravelry: My Clogs


Felted Clogs Top Inside

After seeing Lynda’s fabulous clogs, I decided it was finally time to felt mine. I’d knit them in November, but didn’t have any clue how to successfully felt them, so they sat with the other UFO’s that I’m trying to ignore. I didn’t want all my hard work to be ruined by doing something stupid in the felting process. I sent Lynda an email to find out if there were any special instructions for felting things that must fit on your foot. Unfortunately it was as I expected and I had to try on the wooly wetness of my clog a time or two (or three in my case) to insure I didn’t over-felt it.
Fiber Trends Felted Clogs (pre-felt)

I tossed them both into a zippered pillow cover, filled the machine with hot water and let them agitate for 10 minutes. This was most definitely not enough time, and I returned them to the agitation cycle for another 5 minutes. I then noticed that one was smaller than the other, so I left it out and put the other one in the machine for a few minutes. When I checked it, that one was the perfect size and the other one was too big, so back in it went for 2 minutes. Perfect! I did find out later however, that when felting multiple pieces of a project (such as TWO clogs), each item should be put in a separate bag. This helps them felt more evenly as mine had not in certain places that I will not point out. I formed them to my feet (more or less) and set them out to dry for two days.
Fiber Trends Felted Clogs (drying)

I had no idea they were going to be as comfortable as they are and the double sole makes them very cushy. I wouldn’t hesitate to make a lot more of these for family and friends.  I most definitely won’t have trouble figuring out holiday gifts this year.
Felted Clogs side

By the way, don’t go to WEBS to check out their annual anniversary sale, you may end up finding something like this on your doorstep a few days later:
WEBS Anniversary Sale
(Click on photo for link to Flickr with all the yarn information)

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Luckily on Saturday morning I woke feeling fairly good. I can only attribute it to the 2 doses of Flexeril and the Melatonin combination. Hubby decided that shopping in the market didn’t sound so bad, so he joined me on our walk to the market floor. I have no idea how to express to you in words the amount of people already in the market. I knew it was going to be busy, but I suppose I’m never quite prepared for large crowds.

I knew that my Ravelry passport had very few stamps/stickers in it, so today I planned on collecting them all, as well as making sure I picked up some yarn from WEBS for a sweater or two. Since I’d walked around all the booths the day before to see my options for purchases, I took my market floor booth layout sheet, and circled all the booths I needed to stop at and for what item. Some were just for the Passport, some were to enter drawings, and others were for purchases. This definitely helped keep me on track and I will do it every year that I attend Stitches.

Market Floor

The current sweater I’m knitting, the Radiance Cabled Jacket, has a hook and eye closure instead of buttons. On Friday I’d noticed some beautiful Norwegian pewter hook & eye clasps at AffectionKnit, so I stopped at their booth first. I surveyed all their pewter clasps, and all the sets of 3 were $14, but I got this one for $9, so I felt like I’d found a bargain. The booth was already extremely crowded, and several rude women pushed their way ahead of me in line so I ended up standing there for 15 minutes waiting to make my cash purchase. In fact, I think these women must have been around me all day because the level of rude people at Stitches was at an all-time high this year.

Norwegian Pewter frogs (clasps)

I didn’t make another purchase for quite awhile since I was gathering Passport stickers/stamps and entering my name into daily drawings for this and that, but when I stopped at the Fibersphere booth to get my Passport stamped, I noticed some bags (of course), As I was looking over the sock size bag, the vendor shared with me the story behind the bag. Since I’m a sucker anyway for any type of bag, when I found out that women in Cambodia were making them and were being paid three times as much as they’d normally make so they could support their families, I just had to support the cause. I’m not sure what the material is on the outside of the bag (bamboo?) but the inside of the bag is fabric lined with two open pockets, one zippered pocket, and the strap is adjustable.

Cambodia Bag

We walked around for awhile, collecting stamps, and entering drawings, but when we ran into Cindi, Barbara and Rhonda at lunch time, we decided to pass on the $10 hotel sandwich and drove to Baja Fresh for a quick and inexpensive lunch. Of course we weren’t there long since there were schedules to be kept by the others in our group, so I returned to the market to continue filling up my Passport.

The next Ravelry passport stop was Article Pract. As I walked in to get my stamp, I noticed the Malabrigo worsted with a sign saying $10/skein. Then I noticed the Julie Weisenberger patterns. Next thing I know, I’m walking out of their booth just having purchased the Katarina pattern, the Malabrigo Loafers pattern, as well as 3 skeins of Malabrigo worsted in Forest and Azul Profundo.

Coco Knits and Yarn

I had meandered around the WEBS booth on Friday looking at the huge assortment of yarns and trying to decide what I wanted for which project. I was so overwhelmed though, and so tired from that day I opted to wait and purchase on Saturday. Well here it was Saturday and as I started to wander a bit, a lovely young woman named Cirilia asked if she could help me. Realizing that I got nowhere Friday trying to help myself, I said yes. Boy am I glad I did. I showed her my printed Ravelry queue page and asked her for recommendations for the projects I wanted to knit. She was so nice, quick, and knowledgeable, that before I knew it, I had 3 sweaters worth of yarn in my husbands hands. I had intended on only buying one or two sweaters worth of yarn, but since I chose Valley Yarns for 2 of the sweaters, I was able to afford the 100% Alpaca yarn.

WEBS

The blue yarn is Valley Yarns Longmeadow and I’m intending on using it for Drops Design 100-34, although I could use it for a few of the projects in my queue. The red yarn is Valley Yarns Williamstown and it’s intended for Katarina by Julie Weisenberger. The olive green yarn Blue Sky Alpacas 100% Alpaca and is intended for Henley Perfected. I can’t wait to start on these projects.

At this point I could tell that my husband was at his shopping limit and so we decided to head back to the room to rest for awhile before dinner. That plan didn’t last long though. The market floor called to me from inside my room, so I left hubby to watch a movie while I wandered the booths for awhile. I wasn’t planning on purchasing anything, but when I saw this little book, I couldn’t resist.

Knitspiration

This softbound book is called Knitspiration by Fiona Ellis which is a knitting journal. I have long been in search of a small notebook that had both lined and graph pages in it so I could play around with some ideas that float around in my head occasionally. This knitting journal has everything I’d ever want in a journal, with inspiring words and Fiona Ellis even signed it.

Dinner was a driving mis-adventure (no thanks to OnStar) to B.J.’s Brewery to meet-up with Lain, her husband and her son. Lain and I originally connected because of knitting, and although she knits beautifully, she is actually a scrapbooking designer, instructor, and podcaster. For what the Yarn Harlot is to the knitting world, Lain (ScrapHappy) is to the scrapbooking world. Someday I’ll say “I knew her when”.

After dinner I met up with the group from the previous evening for more knitting until 1am, although hubby did not join us this night. When I booked our hotel room, I’d debated on whether to stay Saturday night and at that moment I was so glad I booked us through Sunday morning. Spending time knitting with others that enjoy the same things as I was a priceless moment. I knew that although the classes, and shopping were great, spending time with current friends, meeting new ones, and spending time with those who share the same passion, was the true gift of Stitches.

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There’s so much to share with you regarding Stitches West, but I’m going to break it up into several posts so I don’t overload your systems with photos.

We left the house Thursday morning and drove from Southern California to Northern California. We were lucky enough to be staying at the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency hotel which is attached to the Santa Clara Convention Center where the Stitches classes and shopping are. The hotel is very nice as are the rooms, but it seems like they tried to make everything a little bit contemporary which made for poor room functionality.

Hyatt Hotel Room

The bathroom had a wonderful shower curtain rod that bowed out so that you felt like you had more space in the shower, but the sink in the bathroom had the faucet mounted to the left of the sink which turned out to be very awkward to use.

Hyatt Regency bathroom

After getting settled into our room, I went to the hotel lobby to meet up with a Laura and a few friends from the Anaheim Hills Knit Night on Mondays, so that we could attend the Ravelry meet-up together. Actually if it weren’t for Ravelry, there would not be a Monday knit night with these incredible women. It was interesting to see so many Ravelry users in one room, and I loved finally seeing Jess and Casey in person (from obviously a distance).

Jess & Casey

The only downside to the event was the cash bar. Obviously nobody told catering that knitters do indeed drink, and so there was only one small bar with one bartender. There was a continuous line for that bar for at least an hour. I felt so sorry for the bartender. After the Ravelry meet-up I met my husband at the hotel sushi bar for a bite to eat to fortify myself for the 3 hour shopping spree I was about to participate in. The area was crowded, understaffed, and slow as mud, but luckily the sushi was quite good. We finished dinner just in time to race to the market area to meet up with friends.

Most everyone was stopping at the Raverly booth first to pick up their Passports (more detail on that in a future post), but hubby went there for me as I raced to the Blue Moon fiber Arts booth. I grabbed a lot of skeins of lightweight sock yarn as I made my way through the mass of knitters in the booth. Since the purchase line was really long hubby waited in line for me while I figured out what I wanted. I think there were 7 skeins of yarn in my hands when I met up with him, but when I saw there will Mill Ends for about $7 less a skein than the regular skeins, I dumped most of the yarn I had and grabbed 3 skeins of it. I handed hubby enough money to make the purchase for me, and then told him I’d meet him at the next booth. Do I have the perfect husband or what?

Socks That Rock (Stitches West)

I ended up with 3 skeins of Socks That Rock Mill Ends (1 skein of lightweight and 2 skeins of mediumweight), and 1 skein of Socks That Rock Silkie in Valkyrie. I just noticed yesterday that the Blue Moon logo is backwards on the labels and there are no colorways written on them so who knows what they are. I guess I’ll just call them gorgeous!

Next, I was off to Purlescence Yarns to purchase the Tulip Baby Cardigan kit. It was a bit more money than I’d normally spend on a baby cardigan, but I believe I’ll be using the pattern over and over again since there never seems to be a shortage of women having babies.

Tulip Baby Cardigan Kit

My final purchase for the evening was at Chameleon Colorworks for a skein of her beautiful Bambino yarn. I first saw her hand-dyed yarn at TNNA and instantly fell in love with the Twinkle Toes, Bambino and Evolution yarns. The Loopy Ewe just added the Bambino and Evolution yarns to her store today, so I suggest you get over there and pick some up. Believe me, you won’t regret it.

Bambino (Briar Rose)

The market was open for 3 hours, but frankly after only getting 3 1/2 hours of sleep the night before, I was too exhausted to continue on and wanted to rest up for my class with Cat Bordhi. I think I fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow.

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