The Rest of the Haul

March 5, 2010

It seems a bit boastful to be proudly displaying the yarn purchased last weekend, and yet when other bloggers do it I LOVE IT!  Its like shopping for free, so I hope ya’ll don’t mind. 

I think my biggest happiness came in the Lisa Souza booth.  Her base yarns were nice, the colours were lovely, and her prices very reasonable.  Where other booths were charging $28 for hand dyed skein, her sock prices were low at $18.  I came away with:

On the left straight up sock yarn, in the middle Merino, and on the right is BFL.  This latter base is amazing, the BFL is shiny, without any silk in there.  The merino was bought with my last $20, and the colours are true on my style.  I thought the sock yarn with the light green/blue, and natural with spots was pretty cool, and not something I normally would have chosen.  I really couldn’t resist the BFL, with the shininess, and the vaguely purple/blue colour, so I didn’t try!

Next up with Blue Moon Fiber Arts:

I had wanted to find some of the black Raven colourway, and this heavyweight Valkyrie fit the bill perfectly.  It was one of two left in the booth on Saturday afternoon.  It is black with hints of purple and copper/brown.  On the right is a 994 yd skein of Geisha which is tussah silk/kid merino in the silver Winter Solstice colourway.  It’s seriously shiny, and worth every penny.  I really cannot wait to knit this up into some gloriously elaborate shawl. 

Places that I would like to buy from next year (or at a wedding I’m now going to in Boulder Colorado in April)

Wabi Sabi for intense saturation of colours.  I was eyeing their purple (the theme?) and green.

Feministy and Little Red Bicycle are doing some killer colourways.

Have a good weekend everyone!  We’re heading out to Banff for some skiing and relaxing by the fire!

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Bogged Down

June 24, 2008

In lace cardigan land that is.  I mean I love the pattern (even though parts of it are “fill in the blank” and I wouldn’t recommend it to new knitters) but I just want to start making so many other things!  And I want to wear my lovely cardigan.  I’m currently working on the first sleeve, and since they are full length sleeves I’m estimating they will each take a week each of fairly dedicated effort.  Ugh! 

In order to create a diversion, and an excuse to start something new, I applied to join the Tour de France Knitalong.  I asked to be in the Maillot Verte category, which means I’m going to try and finish something before the end of the Tour!  It will also go nicely with my month o bike training that I’m hoping to do when it stops raining.  Double Ugh!  I’m currently planning to use the four skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light I recently received from the lovely Mrs. Chuky (received not bought, hence pact unbroken!)

And what I learned this morning is that taking photos in my bathroom means that a beautiful teal turns into green.  So please use your imaginations to know that this is a beautiful teal heathery mix!  I promise better photos in sunlight with true colour, honest.  So the project should have something to do with France, or biking, or some kind of link.  The current plan is to make Anais (which sounds french n’est-ce pas?), and I should have enough.  It also looks flattering on 98% of people on Ravelry, which is always good.  (And its not so big, since it is sans bras (bras is arms in french, so that ain’t dirty ya’ll)). 

I’m also looking forward to creating a baby present with these two lovely skeins of candy goodness:

I do so love it when friends are obliging when they have baby girls so that I can use the cute Koigu colours and make a February jacket! 

So two sleeves to go, or July 5, whichever comes first!  And I think we know that the race will start before those sleeves are done, don’t we?

Or something like that!  Its always fun when crossing the border, they ask you if you are bringing anything back, and you answer “yarn and books”.  Somehow I usually get waved on very quickly.  I went a bit crazy at the bookstores for some reason, and I can’t wait to get into all these books.  The knitting magazine was purchased for the crochet critters inside, I can’t wait to make a panda.  I also picked up the Rowan book with the butterfly camisole that I started last summer, and mean to pick up again.  It has so many beautiful little cardigans in it that I can totally see myself wearing to work.  It is not pictured however as it got left in the car, and I didn’t feel like running out to the parking lot in my jammies.

I love books!

I was really exited to go to the Snake River Fiber Fair in order to see the Wooly Wonka colourways in person.  Cause on the internet you just can’t poke your finger into a skein now can you?  Anne brought some beautiful things, but I restrained myself to just a few things:

I chose the bluey/purply merino silk for the flutter scarf, since the colours were too beautiful to leave behind.  I’m not sure it will work 100%, but its worth a try.  In the middle is 900 yards of laceweight merino for a Zephyr shawl, and then a beautiful yellowy/goldy/toffee colour lace weight.  This is going to be a beautiful scarf/hat/mittens or all of the above, and since it is a colour I don’t usually buy, I went for it to show my adventurous side.  Hands off Miss J!  If it goes missing I’ll know where to look!  And of course some HandKnit soap for some Christmas presents.  Seven months ahead of time, I’m so organized!  From the lovely Laurie of Blessed Juno

I also picked up some Cascade 220 in order to make a Stephanie Japel sweater, since she has been added to the line-up of teachers for the fall retreat.  Again, a colour I don’t usually buy, in a nice deep purple.  I plan on making this towards the beginning of fall, it will be too hot to work on it now.  Besides, I have lotsa lace to work on!

Once Upon a Time…

April 28, 2008

 Two beautiful (the homeless man in the wheel chair begging for money on the street calls me beautiful every day, so there) young girls went on a quest to find the mythical land of Koigu.  They set off bright and early to an undisclosed, top secret location in search of hand painted yarn.  Upon arrival at the promised land, they slowly drifted to the back of the store, so as to not draw attention to themselves, and what to their wondering eyes should appear? 

04.26.08 Super Secret Source of Koigu

Behold!  The promised huge amounts of Koigu!  Their eyes rounded in wonder, they casually wandered around the store, circling their prey, so as not to alarm it.  They nonchalantly looked at the prepackaged kits of Koigu, which contained a boxy mitred sweater fit for an evil stepmother.  But suddenly, a magical sign was seen!

04.26.2008 Hot Damn

The Koigu in the hideous kits was 30% off.  The two young girls began to ponder, and think, and ponder some more.  They noticed that each kit contained single skeins of the lovely hand painted yarn, but if they bought two kits, then could pair the skeins up and make wondrous items of great beauty!  And so they did, and in so doing paid only $9 per skein of the wondrous Koigu.  But then the two trusty friends faced the greatest challenge of their new friendship: who got which pair?  In a great feat of diplomacy:

04.26.08 The Diplomatic Model

The skeins were laid out in the local restaurant (still top secret location) and each beauteous girl took turns picking her favorite.  Negotiations were tense at times, but an amicable dividing of the spoils was achieved.  Suddenly, they realized that one girl had an extra pair?  On no, which pair should they split up so that everything was even steven?  A beautiful purple pair was split up, and war was once again averted peacefully.  If only Dubya would have called us first!

After such a happy day, I went home and made myself a meal of Koigu, because I did get the best of the deal, my skeins are the most beautiful in the land!

 

One will be a hat, some will be socks, maybe a scarf, maybe some baby jackets, maybe some mittens, oh the delightful possibilities, which I’m sure will end happily every after…

And yet still manage to justify it all!  So first of all let’s get two things straight; birthday yarn and vacation yarn don’t really count.  Plus I ordered the goods from Wooly Wonka a little while ago, it just took the post office quite a long time to forward it up to the True North.  The Haul:

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From Left to right we have: 100% alpaca in Wasatch, 100% alpaca in Blue Spruce, Superwash wool in Red Rocks, Superwash Wool in Sagebrush & Cedars, and kid mohair and silk in American Beauty.  The projects for these are all planned out except the socks, but I’m starting to think this might be good for the sock yarn on Knitty.  The pink mohair/silk yarn is also for me, aren’t I lucky?

Remember my cousin’s baby?  I found this Lamb’s Pride Superwash and fell in love:

lambs-pride-superwash.jpg

The lighter colours aren’t coming in too well, but suffice it to say that they are a light, soft, heathery orange, and picture the Baby Surprise Jacket with a few darker orange stripes, and an orange edging.  Again, I rather surprised myself on this as I protest to not like orange, but the two colours together I think are beautiful, and perfect for a little girl.  The Lamb’s Pride Superwash had wonderful baby colours, nary a pastel in sight, I’m sure I’ll be going back to it again for future projects.  The official cast-on is tonight!

Remember what I said cost $80, well cast your eyes on this:

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A blend of 80% bamboo and 20% wool.  I intend to make myself a lace cardigan to wear around the office, a Ravelry Link is here!  The pattern calls for cotton, which I don’t like to work with or wear, as it feels so dry to me.  This yarn is new, so I’ll let you know how it goes.  The lovely proprietress of Unraveled Sheep in Salt Lake City has it on sale this month for 10% off, and there are extremely lovely colours to be had, except for the acid green, except if that is your thing I mean.  I had meant to choose a neutral colour, but could not resist this lovely bluey purpley one.  Beware this lady however, she likes to put things in your hand, and then you immediately put them on the counter.  She tempted me with a finished pair of Noro socks, which have an almost felted look to them and were irresistible. Bonk, a ball on the counter.

So why is this yarn righting a karmic wrong, and turning good into bad?  On Christmas morning, I woke up in my house in Salt Lake to find a jar of money on my front porch, right in front of the door.  I do not know who left it there, or why.  No clue.  No notes in it either.  Theories range from crazy ex-boyfriends, to loot from a murder.  At first I put it in my cupboard and did not touch it.  But hey, its a jar of money, and as long as I turn it into good I should be able to overcome the potential evilness?  So I began to buy coffee for people, breakfast (yes I was that crazy old lady paying for breakfast with stacks of quarters), and eventually took the remainder to CoinStar and cashed in.  This yarn, and the resulting cardigan, will hopefully make the universe balanced again, and bad shall become good.  And I’ll get a lovely lace cardigan…

A few things I forgot to mention:

-When I got into Calgary Saturday night I saw northern lights!  Even in the city, sigh

-I went to the Petroleum Club today for lunch, where they famously only let women in recently (maybe the 80’s or 90’s).  I feel very special now!  It was weird though, there was a lot of wild game on the menu, millionaires sure like to eat weird things.

I think it seems like its been a long week as this is a long weekend here in Alberta!  Yes, Monday is Family Day, or to translate, “We Need Another Holiday Before May” Day.  Myself and the furry rotters have a few family things planned on Monday, I have two goals, and the rest is knitting!  My two things to do aren’t too taxing, so I’m hoping for a relaxing day. 

For a Friday finished object, may I present the lovely Montego Bay:

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So mysterious!

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Posing with my trusty calculator!  I have a bit too much fun making “Still Life With Knitting”.  The pattern is from Summer 2007 issue of Interweave, and can be found on Ravelry here.  I used a lovely CamelSpin from Handmaiden.  I did like the fact that the pattern instructs you to cut all your fringe pieces first, and then you just knit away until the seemingly never-ending ball of yarn ends.  Which I did, and I ended up with a scarf that hits the floor on both sides!  So I’ve been wrapping it twice around my neck for a nice cosy warm feel.  There is a mistake right in the middle that I made during the Superbowl.  I was cheering for the NY Giants, as I figured it was time for someone else to win.  Mr. T. was cheering for the Patriots, so things got a bit heated at times.  At the end of the game, I won a foot rub!  I’m so glad they won.  Yeah for the Underdog. 

For the fringe I followed the directions for braiding it, but added in some little beads for bling:

montego-bay-close.jpg

If I had it to do over I think I would have tried some different braiding things, but it is still very nice I think.  I know everyone at the play last night was checking it out and were very envious! 

So what to do next?  What is my new little traveling project.  I had started a little blue sock, but not in the pattern I had originally meant it to become.  I had started it in the car in Saskatchewan, but when the first words of the pattern were “Provisional cast on with crochet hook” I had to switch to another pattern.  I’m not handy enough to fashion a crochet hook in the middle of nowhere.  However, I’m feeling really envious of everyone making things in “Fire” colours.  A quick stash crash reveals:

montego-bay-001.jpg

I’m such a water element!  But right in the middle, two balls of sock yarn with red in them.  I’m starting a sock with the dark red one on the right middle.  But boy, oh boy, when the water and earth elements roll around, I’m all over it.  I also found pulling everything out of their separate bags and looking at them instructive.  I’ll remember to just not buy the blue and green ones in the future!

Have a good weekend everyone, see you Tuesday!  Or Saturday if you are planning on attending the knitting pub here in Calgary.  Things could get out of hand….

As it pertains to my purchases over the holiday at least.  But first an explanation of my nature, and how I work.  I like goals, I like making lists and crossing things off, I don’t like buying things without a purpose.  I like to buy yarn for a specific project, and I don’t like having it hang around for a long time reminding me that I haven’t finished something, and have therefore failed.  I used to be very, very good at this until I discovered knitting group, knitting blogs, and ravelry.  Since then my head has exploded.  So many ideas, so many great things to make, so little time.  Yarn in my stash is officially known as “The backlog” and it is all scheduled to be used.  (I have so far not used a project management spreadsheet tool for this, but I’ve been really tempted.  I loooove spreadsheets, and Gantt Charts are wonderful).  What I do is record in the back of my day timer my list of projects that I have yarn for, and when I’m done I draw a lovely red line through it.  For 2007 I finished 13/23 projects for a 57% success rate.  (Yes, this is what happens when engineers are allowed to write knitting blogs)  In my new daytimer, which I love by the way, I’ve brought over every unfinished project, and listed everything I’ve recently purchased for.  That means I’m currently at 0/18 projects.  This means my backlog is high, and my production low.  Perhaps we will return to this for quarterly updates…

That being said, I currently have yarn for three sweaters!  I know, I better get cracking so that I’m not making these come springtime!  First of all is the Hoodie from Vogue Knitting Fall 25th Anniversary issue (New Winter issue, not so good, don’t think I’ll buy that one)  I’ll put up more photos of this once I get back to it, but it should be wonderful.  It was put down for the blanket production schedule which had a deadline.  Just before Christmas I purchased the wool for the Ee Zed sweater.   And while I was down in Salt Lake I purchased yarn for a Gathered Pullover from the Winter Interweave Designs:

gathered-pullover-yarn.jpg

This was done as I’ve noticed that yarn per skein is cheaper in the US than in Canada, but Canadian money is still worth more than American money, so its like yarn on sale for me!  See how that is a perfectly justified purchase, plus its lustrous green colour. 

And this lovely skein of Handmaiden camel/silk is to make a Montego Bay scarf from Interweave Summer 2007:

jan-4-001.jpg

This purchase is literally justified by its great beauty (the blues and subtle purple, fabulous) and its extreme softness.  Plus I need another scarf to wear at work, as I’ve been wearing them almost every day.  Its necessary! 

Okay, these ones weren’t so necessary, but they are potential socks or gifts if needed:

jan-4-004.jpg

In many ways sock yarn is an acceptable buy, as they will always become socks, and a pattern does not have to be selected ahead of time.  There are so many available when I need a new sock to cast on.  A sock, or small simple project like the Montego Bay Scarf will be my travel projects, ones I take to SNB or when traveling.  The sweaters I tend to make at home.

So you see guilty conscience, you have nothing to worry about!  Everything is justified!  Whew, I’m glad I got that straight. 

In the spirit of the New Year, I offer you another dieting tip:  buy expensive luxury wool, and use your grocery budget.  That way you can’t buy as much food…