This is mostly a knitting blog. Sometimes pictures of things I've made, sometimes not. I'm a guy who knits, I usually attend a men's stitch 'n' bitch on Monday nights, and I prefer natural fibres to artificial ones. I have a love-hate relationship with bamboo yarns: I love what they can do and how they look, I hate how they are made. I've been knitting since about 2003, though I really didn't get into it until 2005, while convelescing with a broken leg. I must have discovered something good, 'cause I'm still knitting years later.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Forever Yarn, Neighborhood Fiber, and Yarn Harlotry

Every year my friends Libby and John host a bunch of us from our Div School days at their house for a weekend of relaxing, singing, eating, and general relaxation. One of the things we like to do is trek into Doylestown and visit the shops. One of the shops where I tend to spend the most money is the yarn store, Forever Yarn, really wonderful yarn store that carries things that I can't find in my local yarn stores in Boston. Yan, the owner of Forever Yarn, is solicitous, knowledgeable, and very welcoming. When I walked in, while she couldn't remember my name, she remembered who I was, knew that I was in town for an unofficial school reunion, and recommended several very beautiful yarns for me to peruse. I bought the following yarns, most of it Neighborhood Fiber, which is apparently a local Boston yarn, but which I've never seen in any of my LYSs back home in Boston.

This colour is Del Rey, a fabulous yarn with an amazing patina. I have no idea what I will make with 475 yards of this superwash merino, but it's soooo gorgeous!

This is Georgetown, and while it looks more blue in this photo, it is really more of a purple. I'm thinking a fine lace shawl for someone. It's one of my favourite colours.

Fells Point reminds me of Madeleine Tosh's Malachite, and this photo is a bit washed out (but is the best of the ones I took), and I will pair it with the next yarn.

This is Truxten Circle. It really is a gorgeous yarn, and will be paired with the Fells Point.

Won't that make a kick-ass shawl? I need to ask my friend Valaree to help me find a pattern that will work well with these colours.

Olde Towne East (I wonder why East doesn't have a final e?) and if you don't understand that blue is my favourite colour, then you don't know me very well. I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with this, but damn, look at that colour!

This is a Noro I've never seen before, Kama. 26% wool, 25% silk, 25% alpaca, 12% kid mohair, and 12% angora, it's really soft and the colours are intense, in that way that only Noro colours can be. I will make a Brooklyn Striped Scarf with these, for Carlene, and think the colours will work wonderfully together.

This is a yarn I've not seen before, Terra Natural Inspiration, 40% baby alpaca, 40% wool, and 20% silk. It could make a pair of fingerless mitts (which I've never made before), and Yan at Forever Yarn gave me a pattern for such. Might be fun.

Yan very kindly gave me this skein of yarn after buying everything I bought, Frolicking Feet, in dungaree blue, it's 100% superwash merino, and it's a sock yarn. But with this much, I can make a shawlette or some such.

What an awesome collection of yarn I was able to gather. And working with Yan at Forever Yarn was just a delightful experience. Now I've got a lot of cool stuff to knit (read: add to my stash). And the colours of the Neighborhood Fiber yarns really rocks my stripy socks!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday

These are a few of the WIPs I've been working on. I am not a monogamous knitter. I need to be free, I need to have space, sometimes I need to work with green yarn, sometimes, blue, sometimes red. I can't be constrained by working on only one project at a time.

Or maybe it's just ADD.

Since I finished the beaded cowl, I've turned my attention to projects that are, well, demanding my attention. First is Alexandra's bear hug wrap.

Cascade Chunky Baby Alpaca, it is an odd shade of green/black that really is rather stunning.
I am well through the fourth (of five) skeins, and hope to be done with this before Friday. Since I'll be seeing Alexandra this weekend, I'd like to be able to present her with a fait accompli.

Working in Malabrigo Rios, two scarves in the Ameeta pattern, by Deniss A. Saganai, for sisters Grace and Maddy.
This is really teal coloured.

This is a wonderful purple. I love Malabrigo Rios, I only wish it were more readily available. One of the interesting things I'm finding about knitting these scarves is that even though they are both on US 6 circular needles, the teal one is on a 24 inch circular, and the purple one is on a 16 inch circular. The purple one is a much tighter knit than the teal one. I'm reckoning that's because the cables between the needles are of different lengths, the 24 inch circs are almost like knitting with straight needles. Either way, I like that they're a bit different.

The next two projects are not yet started. I need to get the right needles for them, I'm thinking US 8, Addi Lace needles. I'm not a big fan of metal needles, but since I'll be knitting two-together-through-the-back, the pointiness of lace needles will be a big help.
This is Filigran, 100% Merino superwash, in lace weight. The glass beads are blue with a purple and gold sheen to them. I think they'll work well together.

This is Cascade Venezia Sportweight, Merino wool and silk.
It really is that purple! The glass beads are gunmetal grey. Both of these unyet-cast-on projects are going to become beaded cowls, the first for Libby, the second for Carlene. I would like to make one for Alexandra, but plan on picking her brain about colours she likes. For some reason, I have in my head that she likes green, but I may have just assigned that to her. If she likes red or orange, I'll have to be on the lookout for those colours.

These are some of the things I'm working on at the moment, or are in my queue. I really want to cast on the beaded cowls, even though the first time I tried my hand at one it was mostly a disaster (I was heard to mutter, from time to time, "Quelle disastre!" or even stronger language).

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vacation Yarn Doesn't Really Count as Yarn

I own about 17 bins, big bins, of yarn. I know I loved it when I bought it, and when I open each bin and look at the yarn, I still love it. Lucy from Mind's Eye says, "collecting yarn and knitting are two very different hobbies that only sometimes intersect." This is so very true. I'm not only a knitter, I'm a yarn collector. So I am trying to do something about the stash. I'm trying very hard not to buy any yarn this year. Of course I've already failed, and gotten a few skeins here and there (if Monteiro hadn't discontinued their wool/llama yarn I would never have had to buy those four skeins), plus four skeins of Malabrigo lace weight in merino superwash. And I won't mention the skein of Cascade merino/silk blend. Because, well, that's all water under the bridge. I did use a gift certificate to buy a skein of dark teal yarn, but I don't count that, since it was a gift certificate, and was really Christmas yarn. Sheesh.

But in this not-quite-as-new-as-it-used-to-be month, I haven't bought any yarn at all. Oh, I've looked. I've perused the shelves and cubbies at my favourite yarn stores. But I am trying to hold steadfast. I even refused to go to a yarn sale last week, where the stuff was on sale for 25% off! Talk about self-control. 

Of course, when I go to Pennsylvania next week, all bets are off at the yarn store in Doylestown. I will leave a bit of room in my luggage to bring home any goodies I get there. Besides, yarn bought whilst on vacation doesn't count. It's vacation yarn, see? Vacation yarn doesn't fall under the same rubric of yarn that I get to add to my stash because, well, um, because, well, because it was got whilst on vacation, thus making it vacation yarn. I know there's some logic in there somewhere, but damned if I can figure it out. We'll just go with vacation yarn doesn't count as a yarn purchase after one has promised oneself not to buy any more yarn this year (or at least until some of the stash is knit down). 

And in other exciting news, I have enough beads left for the beaded cowl to get me through another 20 rows, plus one knitted and unbeaded row, and then a bind off. Only 4200 stitches to go (+ bind off), and I'm done. Another Christmas present will be finished, and I can turn my attention to other projects. Like the teal and purple beaded cowls I plan on making.

A knitter's work is never done.