Sunday, February 28, 2010

3 + 1 = 11

How does that work, you ask? Well. Allow me to explain (it's the new math):

Stitches West 2010 took place this weekend. I took Friday off so I was able to be there nearly the whole time. All year I'd set aside the small bits of money that I had left at the end of the week and saved it for Stitches. I ended up with a nice, guilt-free pile of cash; no withdrawals from checking and even better, nothing put on a credit card. Yay me! Over the course of the long weekend I traded it all for fiber in various and sundry forms.

Some consider this to be the Year of the Tiger. For me, it's the Year of the Laceweight. As I did at Stitches last year, I had a list of a few things I wanted to make a point of finding at Stitches, and I took care of those on Thursday night at the Market Preview. Lisa Souza had blogged about dyeing up a batch of silk laceweight, and I'd been lusting after it since she posted a picture.

100% silk in the Sedona color way. Lisa does gorgeous work and I was really excited to snap this up as there weren't very many!

Another pre-planned purchase was this:

This is Abstract Fibers Hepburn in Alfalfa. I'd seen Jasmin preparing to test-knit a skein of a different colorway and when I commented on it she told me it also came in a gorgeous green. I wanted to make sure I got some so I pounced as soon as I saw it. It's an 80/20 Merino/Silk and it's a generous 1000 yards per skein. I don't have a particular plan for it other than I know it'll become a wrap at some point. In the meantime I'll just sit and pet it.

I also had wish-listed this:

A generous cone (over 1500 yards) of Valley Yarns Colrain Laceweight (Merino/Tencel) from Webs. I'd seen the color on their website but had wanted to wait to confirm it really was as gorgeous as the picture indicated. Well it is. I'm not completely sure what I'll use it for but I'm leaning toward the Print O' The Wave Stole.

Those three finds made up my purchases for Thursday night. Friday morning started somewhat early with a pre-Stitches breakfast (it's important to build up one's yarn-shopping strength) and then onward to the market floor. I found a few more treasures:

Thanks to Janice who blogged about it Thursday night, I found this Louet Gems sock yarn at a ridiculously low price. I think everyone who read her blog made a beeline for it Friday because I heard that by the end of the day, the vendor had just about run out. This is really nice sock yarn that shows cables off beautifully.

I found a new vendor I really like (I'm not sure if it's their first year at Stitches or not, but I certainly hope they return). The two yarns below are from Knitting Notions Online; it's hand-dyed yarn of various types in beautiful colors.

This is their Classic Merino Bamboo in Ironstone. It's 490 yards of fingering weight, and it's just gorgeous.

This is their Classic Merino Lace in Stormy Seas. Ditto (except that it's lace weight, not fingering). Beauteous.

One of the best things about the weekend was that I got to meet one of my favorite bloggers (and indie dyers), Rabbitch. She's snarky, insanely smart and sometimes hysterically funny. Now I know she's like that in person as well as in her blog. She also does wonderful dye work, and I picked up a skein of her Toe Jam sock yarn:

All of her colorways seem to have a story to go with them; this one is called Cryptic Notes.

Less cryptic but equally lovely in a different way was some Belisa Cashmere:

I think this is the first cashmere yarn I've ever bought and I love that they include a choice of pattern with the purchase. I already have two other colorways I'd like in this yarn, but I have to wait until next year to act on that.

I had eyed some of this last year, but didn't get any. This year I picked some up:

It's natural-colored charcoal alpaca from Cheryl Oberle in a light DK/Sport weight. It's going to become a light, office-appropriate sweater. Each skein has 650 yards and it is soft, soft, soft!

I left the convention center early that day to join some friends from high school at an event in San Francisco. It was great fun and I got home quite late, but managed to drag my tired self back to Stitches on Saturday morning (am I a trooper or what?). I think the yarn fumes revived me.

The last thing on my Stitches wish list was some spinning fiber; it had to be 50/50 merino/silk, and it had to be exactly what I had in mind, though I wasn't sure what that might be. Luckily, I found it anyway. Two ounces of merino/silk fiber from A Verb For Keeping Warm in Chocolate Cherries.

I also picked up some merino/silk heavy laceweight from Pigeonroof Studios:

Noting kind of a teal/blue gray color trend here? I think I felt the need to break away from my standard olives and rusts.

So there you go. Three days of yarn-fume madness and one hell of a good time brought in the makings of 11 new projects. Understand the new math now?

The last thing I bought at Stitches was a set of buttons

for this:

which is coming along nicely! I just need to do the body, and then around the neck.

I went back to Stitches today but purely for social reasons. It's a great place to hang out with people sharing the same interests and to see friends who aren't conveniently close by. I'm pretty much exhausted and my stomach hurts from laughing, but it was awesome. I'll be dragging tomorrow morning, but who cares? I only have two days left at this job, and I can certainly caffeine-power my way through that.

Apparently Miele had a tiring weekend too.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Life Balance, I Hardly Knew Ye (But I'm About To)

In my last post I mentioned something that I hoped to be able to share soon. Some of you have noticed that I haven't blogged nearly as often the past 6 months. Those who are local have heard me talk about it. Work has been completely wearing me down, both physically and emotionally. I had great hopes when I started, but it became clear pretty quickly that it wasn't the right place for me. While the reverse commute was awesome (17 miles in 20 minutes going 80 mph down 101), the location placed me nearly 40 miles from my favorite knitting meet-ups which much of the time was just too far, so I haven't been able to see my friends as much as I'd like. Most of the time I've come home, eaten and fallen asleep on the couch. Not good.

Well in two weeks, that will all be behind me. It's time to share. I have a new job! I got a freakin' fabulous offer today, which was so good it didn't need negotiating. I like my about-to-be boss and his direct reports, the commute is a touch shorter (though more traffic), 11-12 hour days will no longer be the norm, and the compensation is a lot better. Best of all, I'm positive it will be a much better, much happier fit. My last day at my current job (unless they walk me out the door sooner) will be March 2nd and I start the new gig on the 8th. So I even get a little bit of time to decompress in between.

Anyone local wanna come out and play while I'm off? I'm back!