Friday, February 27, 2009

So Far, So Very Good

Stitches West is in full swing. I spent Thursday evening at the preview and today I worked a few hours in the Fiber Fiend booth and walked the floor for another few hours. I'm going back tomorrow with my father and stepmother who are in town and think they want to brave the Saturday crowds. Silly people.

I had 3 goals for Stitches this year:

Goal 1: find one sweater's-worth of a yarn that was unusual, special and still affordable. A slightly decadent treat but not so high-end that it broke the bank.

Goal 2: a shawl pin from Romi.

Goal 3: find a fiber to spin into a sweater. Like the yarn, it has to be beautiful yet moderately priced.

I think I have done pretty well so far:

Brooks Farms Mas Acero - enough for a sweater. Goal 1 - check.

A mill end from Blue Moon Fiber Arts - for some plain ol' Vanilla socks. I figure the colors alone will make the sock plenty interesting. Bonus purchase #1.

I knew I could count on Lisa Souza to have something beautiful to try out. She's doing something new - batts. This is a chocolate brown with slivers of tencel through it. Bonus #2. The color is more accurate in this first picture:

but the second picture gives an idea of the effect of the tencel:

I found a shawl pin by Romi (goal 2 - check):

I also found some roving (Jasmin says this is Ashland Bay Merino) for a handspun, handknit sweater (goal 3 - check!):

Then Sandi (my spinning Sensei) suggested I stop by the Redfish Dyeworks booth where I fell madly in love with bonus purchase #3 - this:

It's a camel/silk blend and the softest stuff evar. It practically glows:

And I love the colors. They're me. In fact - I'm starting to see a trend:

So I reached my 3 goals and I bought 3 extra items - the sock yarn and the 2 different fibers. I still have some cash left. I'm definitely spending more time there but at this point I'm hoping more to run into some lovely friends than I am to find more things to buy. I may pick up something else I didn't spot my first two visits, but there's an equal chance I'll stick with what I already have - I'm feeling pretty flush with beautiful fibery things right now.

If you're planning to be at Stitches on Saturday look for me!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why Yes, Lisa Rinna, I'm Wearing Evelyn Clark.

After a good soak...

Swallowtail #2 is finished!

This one took a lot less actual knitting time as I already understood the pattern and I don't think I ever had to tink back more than just a few stitches. I'm in lurve with this pattern and I wouldn't be surprised if I felt the need to knit more of these. This one is lighter and more delicate than the first. The fabric is more open because I used the same size needles for both projects but the Jaggerspun Zephyr (the yellow) is a finer yarn. They're both Merino/silk blends, but the Sireno has a smoother finish and doesn't have a tendency to snag on itself the way the Zephyr does. I'd use either of these yarns again in a heartbeat though - in fact, Great Adirondack will have a booth at Stitches West so I might pick up another skein of it this weekend.

I think I'm developing a lace obsession.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

He Doesn't Understand Meeee...

Friday morning conversation:

Me: Oh I forgot to tell you. We've got a mouse in the garage. It ran and hid as soon as I opened the door. Though it might have been a tiny rat - it was moving too fast for me to see. It was really cute though.

Husband: So let me get this straight. Are you the same person who ranted, freaked out and vacuumed up the ants in the kitchen last summer yelling 'Die, F***ers!!'?

I don't see the dichotomy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

I haven't knit much lately - I took on some new responsibilities at work and while it's going really well, the new stuff does take time and energy to learn. Consequently, I have been so beat when I come home from work that I'll fallen asleep on the couch prior to 8:00 pm more than once in the past week. That seriously cuts into the knitting time. Fortunately the fatigue isn't a long-term thing - I'll figure it all out, make my own process and regain some energy eventually.

But I have made some progress on this:

It's another Swallowtail Scarf, this time in Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk. The color is really more like this:

It reminds me of daffodils, which is a nice thing to think about on a grey, rainy day like the ones we've had lately. I love the rain and we need the water desperately out here, so the more I hear it pouring down the happier I am.

When I'm actually awake enough to knit, this one moves along pretty quickly. It's kind of fun knitting the exact same pattern in very different yarns. I'm enjoying the differences. The Great Adirondack Sireno and the Zephyr are both Merino/Silk blends but they aside from the softness they both have, they don't seem to have much in common. The Sireno is a heavier weight with more drape and more sheen. The Zephyr is more delicate and floaty feeling. I love them both and hope that this second one is as much loved by its intended recipient as is the one I made for myself. One thing to note - the Zephyr is quite the bargain - Each ball has 630 yards and cost around $13 bucks. Price that out per hour as entertainment and you've got yourself an absolute steal.

No, they're not boobs...

I also whipped out a few small projects - my friends seem to be procreating like crazy again so I made a few pumpkin hats from yarn I picked up at the yarn swap. The only thing I did differently was to add a purl stitch every 5 or 6 stitches to make lines on the pumpkins.

They're a fun, super-quick knit. I have yarn left, so I'm sure I'll make more of these sometime soon.

Parting Shot

Riso wanted me to know that he really, really, REALLY loves peanuts.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lacy Love


Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark. I started it on January 21st and blocked it this evening. Fast lace knitting by my standards, especially considering I've had a few long workdays from which I've come home, had dinner and promptly crashed on the couch with no knitting whatsoever.

Another angle:

Nupps - which aren't anywhere near as hard as people make them out to be. All you need is a nice sharp needle (I used Addi Turbo Lace needles).

This yarn (Great Adirondack Sireno - Merino/Lace) is amazing. It's super-soft, has a wonderful sheen to it and is an absolute dream to knit. I still have quite a bit left from the 1 skein I used - definitely enough for a small lacy scarf.

I generally prefer lace in a solid or semi-solid, but I like how the colors played out in this one.

I love this shawl so much...

I think I'm going to make another one!