yarn goodness

This arrived yesterday (mouseover to see what’s inside):

I know, you’re shocked! Me, buy yarn? Never happens! Umm, yeah. Of course the whole box of yarn wasn’t for me, half was for Emma. In fact I just got back from dropping off her yarn. This yarn is for me, for Dad’s blanket:

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I started Dad’s blanket last night (using layout C) and so far so good.  I am quite happy with the yarn, it is soft, has a nice twist, the colors are even but not at all flat and knits up into a nice squishy fabric.  It reminds me of Cascade 220 Superwash, but a bit softer.  I have split a couple of stitches using my ultra pointy Addi Lace needles, I think if I were using a blunter needle this wouldn’t be a problem. 

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I did a bit of number crunching and I am beginning to doubt my ability to finish this blanket in a timely manner.  The stitch count came out over 136,000, not including the i-cord binding.  eeep!

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Peace Fleece - Chickie Masala

The vest is almost done and I think this is going to be the next thing on the needles, another Peace Fleece cardigan for the Bug. 

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky

Or maybe this, a simple pullover, also for bug, from some Lorna’s Laces.

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Oh, but I need to cast on the yarn I bought today and finish the project by Wednesday.  So, I guess the above projects will have to wait a couple of days.

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holiday knitting madness

I was innocently reading thru my usual blogs when I came across one of the Yarn Harlot’s latest post.  In that post is a great simple hat, chunky and cabley, quick to knit, and oh so cute. 

I headed over to BMFA to browse the yarns and find a couple colorways that would be perfect for hubby’s niece, my aunt and my cousin.  Okay, $20/skein x 3 skeins, no problem.  Then it dawns on me, I could make matching mittens in the STR!  Hmm, that puts it at more like $40-50 per person and I’d have to knit three hats and three pairs of mittens.  Okay, that’s still doable.  The more I browsed, the more people I wanted to add to the list . . . and the more un-doable the list became.

I’ve now come back to reality and I’m back to one hat/mitten set and . . . I don’t know.  This could be a little more crazy leaking out.

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so, what happened?

Yesterday’s post got me thinking . . . what happened?  What was all that yarn for?  Why didn’t I ever use it?  So, let’s take a look at some of the stash. 

 Lorna's Laces Jungle Stripe

Lorna’s Laces Jungle Stripe.  This, along with a skein of black Opal, was for the 6Sox KAL, Oct/Nov 2005.  Never started.

Merino Style - Fog  Merino Style - Pine

Knit Picks Merino Style in Pine and Fog.  “We Call Them Pirates” hat for Hubby.  Poor Hubby, no hat.

 Plymouth Tweed

Plymouth Tweed.  Also for a hat for Hubby, just before casting on Hubby made a comment about not wanting a boring gray hat.  *sigh*  No, he didn’t know I was about to make him a classic gray hat that would go with anything, but still no hat for Hubby. 

 Ultra Alpaca

Ultra Alpaca.  Purchased last winter for a hat for me, had other projects that needed finishing, never cast on.

 DSCF3474 DSCF3477 DSCF3475 DSCF3476

Elann.com Sonata.  These coordinating yarns were purchased to make a color-blocked sweater for Bug.  She grew, now I don’t have enough yarn to make the sweater and the dye lots have changed.

 Streamers - purple/pink

Ironstone Yarns Streamers.  Purchased on clearance for a cute purse in a magazine.  After reading the pattern I really didn’t like how it was constructed.  Pretty yarn but no clue what to do with it now, so into the stash.

WOA - asparagus

Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, this was purchased for the Samus KAL from the Fall 05 Knitty.  Knit a swatch, then panicked, wasn’t ready to knit a sweater for myself and doubted how flattering it would be.  I have used some of the yarn for some charity knitting, but still have more than enough for a sweater for Bug and maybe one for Bubba, too.

There are yarns from the deal I just couldn’t pass up or the store closing sale or the retail therapy sock yarn.  Some of the stash will go on the sell/trade page in Ravelry, some will go out in the garage sale (most of that didn’t even make it onto Ravelry)  Actually, more than half the yarn could go and I wouldn’t mind, I am attached to some of it for various reasons but the rest . . . eh.

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burn the stash

 Very tempting to do after getting most of it cataloged into Ravelry along with photos in Flickr.

So far 41 pictures in the sock yarn folder and I’m sure I’m missing a couple . . . so lets call it enough yarn for 45 pairs of socks.   Sweater amounts of yarn were definately fewer and mostly kid sweater amounts . . . 16 total . . . 2 in amounts for sweaters for me . . . maybe 5 average adult sweaters of various types . . . 9 or so in kids amounts.  The rest of the stash is mostly in ones and twos, sure there may be a four or five here or there, but mostly it’s ones and twos. 

What the heck am I going to do with all those singles.  Yes, I have One-Skein Wonder and several other books with small projects but I could be knitting hats, scarves and mitts until I’m 60.  Guess I could do a couple of Baby Surprise Jackets and tuck them away for gifts, same with the hats, scarves, and mitts.

But, really, almost half the stash?  I guess the thing that sucks it that almost all of those ones/twos/threes were purchased for specific projects.  This all goes back to the “talks a big game, follow through sucks”. *sigh*

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OFFF part 2

 These are samples from my all day class on Friday with Susan Forsythe.

  class samples    silk merino from class

By the end of the class I had a need to buy fleeces, lots and lots of fleeces.  I had a need to flick them, to comb them, to card them and then finally to spin them.  I resisted, I guess it helps that the vendors were only setting up, not actually open.  In spite of that fact, I did manage to buy these . . .

combs

flicker

Back at the hotel that night I finished off the Bluebells and Buttercups Superwash from Dragonfibers, and plied it.  Love the colors.

bluebells and buttercups superwash 

Saturday there was the much shopping, but no buying.  I know, I was shocked too.  My class in the afternoon produced these samples . . .

color class 

I learned how to andean ply in class.  I had tried it before, but this was the first time I had it work the way it’s supposed to.  The yarn barf on the bobbin, that we will not speak of, it is cursed. 

yummy alpaca

This beautiful skein of alpaca, from Sweet Grass Wool, was a birthday gift from Emma.  (Thanks Emma!)

Sunday was the parking lot fleece sale, where I walked away with a Finn lamb.  This is the softest fleece I have ever felt.  Look at that crimp.

finn lamb fleece     finn crimp

And this is the washed Romney from Iron Water Ranch

washed romney fleece 

Sampler packs from The Dizzy Ewe.  Breed Variety Pack:  BFL, Corriedale x, Shetland Moorit, Merino, Jacob, and FInn.  God’s Critters Variety Pack:  Angora Bunny, Tussah Silk, Fine Count Alpaca, Merino and Young Mohair.

sampler packs 

My last purchase of the day arrived today . . .

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. . . and is now in the freezer.  

fresh lamb

the baseball bat of reality

 This last weekend was the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival.  Friday, I picked up Annie at 4:20am . . .

early_annie

. . . and Emma at 4:45am . . .

early_emma

 . . . both agreed it was way to early. We made a quick stop to stretch our legs, top off the gas tank and get a nice view of Mt St. Helens with the sun rise.

mtsthelens 

Upon arival at the fairgrounds we met up with Betty and she and I headed off for an all day class with Susan Forsythe and by the end of the day I was in search of a set of Forsythe MiniCombs and even though none of the vendors was officially open I managed to purchase a set. oops. 

Although we were up before the crack of dawn, we managed to stay up late, spinning, in our hotel room.

emmaspinning 

We arrived Saturday and things were really cooking, so many vendors that every time you walked through there was something new you had missed the first time around.  It was amazing, but never felt overcrowded since the vendors were spread out over two buildings, the open grassy area and the barn.

vendors2 

vendors1 

There was another class in the afternoon, this time with Janelle of Chameleon Colorworks.  I now understand the fractile stripe article that was in Spin Off Summer ’07, along with three other methods of spinning painted rovings.  Dinner was wonderful as we met up with Betty and her mom, Martha, a good time was had by all.  For photographic proof, see Emma’s blog, here.

Sunday was bad for the budget.  The parking lot fleece sale . . .

fleesesale 

emma_fleece1 

annie_fleece     ginger_fleece

Emma and I were looking at some Finn fleeces, so soft, and I swooped in bought one of them while she was still deciding.  All’s fair in war and fleece sales.  There was more wandering and shopping, no classes for us today.  Here is Annie with her alpaca shawl and new basket, I wish I had bought one now, but there’s always next year. 

annie_basket 

In addition to the Finn fleece I bought a washed Romney fleece from Iron Water Ranch, pics tomorrow.  Emma and I also bought a lamb, we opted not to get the head, and it will be FedExed to us to be placed in the freezer.  Grass fed, no hormones from SuDan Farm

The ride home was uneventful and we resisted stopping at Ikea for some tax free shopping.

ETA: On the way home hubby called to see how far from home we were.  I may have told him I would call before we headed out, oops.  I asked how the weekend had been for him, it was the first time I had left him with the kids for more than a day/afternoon.  He told me he had grand plans of what he was going to get done while I was gone. Ha!  The quote, directly from his lips was: “I was bitch-slapped by the baseball bat of reality.”  Yeah, staying home with the kids isn’t as easy as it looks is it!?

I can’t wait until next year!

must use the handknits

This past weekend I did quite a bit of knitting, laughing, and eating.  All good things in my book. 

Friday night was Knit Night at VYT, hubby got home and I zoomed out the door and spent a hour or so knitting with friends.  Some have questioned why I go to Knit Night, I go to VYT almost every Saturday and it would seem going on Friday night would be too much of a good thing.  It’s not, Knit Night is only the first Friday of the month and I only get to go, maybe, half of the time because of Hubby’s work schedule, and I get to see people I wouldn’t get to see otherwise.  I walked out of VYT that night with four skeins of Peace Fleece in Moscow Magic Pink for a sweater for Bug.  (One skein is a just in case skein and will be returned if I don’t need it.)

cardigan

Now, I have been trying to reduce the stash and purchasing yarn doesn’t seem like the best way to do this.  So I came up with a wonderful justification and I wound the skeins into balls after I got home from Knit Night and cast on while at knitting group on Saturday.  The yarn never entered the stash so it doesn’t count.  About half the gals agreed the other half rolled thier eyes, whatever.  This immediate casting on and knitting of The Peace Fleece Cardigan means that I have set aside the Bolero I was working on, but you gotta do what you gotta do. 

bolero

Actually the fact that I don’t have about 20 projects on the needles is a miracle right now.  I have a horrible case of, as Dave at Criminy Jickets call’s it, Seasonal Startitis Syndrome.  It’s been bad.  I look at yarn and want to knit it NOW, I see a pattern . . . NOW . . . NOW . . . NOW.  I have resisted, I really have.

Anyway, Saturday Hubby took me to VYT, since my car is in the shop, and then went away with the kids and didn’t come back for four hours.  Is he a good husband or what?!  That night after the kids went to bed I pulled out the knitting again and continued working on the cardigan while we watched The 4400 and BSG (gotta love netflix). 

Sunday morning my parent picked us up and we went upto my cousin’s for a birthday/anniversary party.  I knit the hour on the way up, part of the time there, and the hour on the way back.  I love going to my cousin’s, she is fun, laid back and always makes you feel welcome.  My aunt and four of my adult cousins were there, the kids had a blast with all the attention.  There were water balloons, trips to the garden, food, games of cribbage,  more food, and cake.  I came home with two bags of produce from the garden (beets, small zucchini, red onions and giant carrots), leftover carrot cake, and greek stuffed zucchini (yummy, have to get her recipe).  With all the fun we had there was one disapiontment: MY DEAR COUSIN IS NOT USING THE HANDKNITS!  Last time we were there I brought her a few knit dishcloths, they are sitting nicely on the counter as doileys, one with the butter dish on it and the other two were on top of the microwave.  I threatened to take them back, she says they are to pretty to use.  *sigh* Guess I need to make her some ugly dishcloths.

I kept chugging away on the cardigan yesterday evening, I even fell asleep sitting on the couch, while knitting, Hubby woke me up at 4am and told me to go to bed.  I was a little tired this morning, but the sweater is getting done.  I am enjoying knitting with the Peace Fleece, it has a bit of VM in it but less than Noro, I was worried it would be splitty since it is a loose 2ply, but I haven’t had any trouble so far.

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vacation knitting

The weather before we left on vacation was iffy, to say the least.  After a lovely June and early July, it turned wet and overcast.  I packed well for vacation, anticipating much rain and time spent indoors.  I packed three WIPs, yarn for another project and the spinning wheel with roving for two projects.

As it turns out, the weather cooperated and although the mornings tended to be overcast, the afternoons were clear and warm.  I did have 3-4 hours of knitting time in the van on the way down and on the way back, and here and there while sitting at the campfire or watching the kids at the playground.  Quite a bit of progress was made on the Rutabaga Bag and I was able to finish Bubba’s hoodie.

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pattern:  Knitting Pure & Simple Children’s Tunic #232
yarn:  Plymouth Outback Wool colorway #965
needles:  Clover Bamboo
cast on:  July 2007   cast off:  August 24, 2007
notes:  I really enjoyed knitting this sweater.  The wool is quite soft, especially for the price, and KPS patterns are always fun for me.  Finish knitting, weave in a couple ends and . . . . voila, es fini.  There was a little more to this one, I grafted the top of the hood (with only 1 purl bump when all was said and done) and sewed down the casing on the hood.  I think if I were to do this patten again I wouldn’t do the casing, I would cast on fewer stitches and just continue the garter stitch from the placket up around the hood.  I still need to make a drawstring for the hood.

There is an error in my copy of the pattern, you cast on stitches on one side but no instructions for casting on the other side and if you continue as written you would be knitting the next row on the wrong side instead of purling.  I simply purled back, cast on the same number of stitches for the other side of the neck front and continued, no problems from then on.

I used a Shark Steamer to block the sweater.   With the split hem on the tunic, the hem flipped up quite badly, after steaming they lay flat as a pancake.  Luv the steamer.  It is now one of my favorite knitting tools.

I did make a yarn purchase while on vacation, but I was very good.  I stopped by Yarn n Darn Things in Greyland for a look around and walked out with enough Naturelle 10ply, in color 151, to make Bug the Aran cardigan she has been asking for.  My MIL has a lovely cardigan, purchased on one of their vacations to Scotland, Bub loves it and has asked me to make her one.  Sure, Honey, no problem, let me get right on that.  The yarn I used for the tunic was purchased at Yarn n Darn Things last year while we were on vacation.  I had purchased enough yarn for a sweater for each kid and had intended to finish both before we went back, well, the new wheel go in the way of that.

chick knit

It’s been two weeks since the last chick update, and boy have they grown. Soon they will be ready to move out to the coop with Gimpy.

Reba 5/22/07
Reba

Dixie 5/22/07
Dixie
(Sorry for the arm, hubby was trying to
keep them from jumping off the table.)

Wynona 5/22/07
Wynona is starting to look more like a Wyatt,
we’ll have to just wait and see.

On the knitting front, I am still working on the top-down sweater for Bubba.  I should have finished this by now but I did take a break from it to knit a Magic 28 Sock and a few swatches for TKGA Master Knitting Level 1, Rebecca and I are working on it together.

This weekend was the LYS Tour.  I had no plan on touring, and for the most part I followed through on that plan.  I popped into VYT on Friday morning and ended up walking out with the tour pattern and the yarn to knit it up, Fleece Artist Suri Blue.  It is a lovely lace weight Suri Alpaca/BFL blend, yummy.  I also picked up some Addi Turbo Lace needles and a set of Amy’s stitch markers.

suri_blue

On the way home I decided to stop by Let it Rain, actually it is the closest LYS to me, but my heart belongs to VYT.  Let it Rain had just moved to a larger space and I had a look around.  I picked up the shop pattern, a scarf, but not the yarn for it since I have several skeins of Silky Wool in my stash.

The shop had some cute kids sweaters on display, free pattern with yarn purchase.  I bit, picked up 3 balls of Dark Horse Yarns Fantasy to make a cardigan for Bubba, I’ll have to upsize the pattern since it only goes upto a 4 and he wears a 5/6, no problem.  The Fantasy yarn is a nylon acrylic blend and very soft, I usually go for the natural fibers, but I just couldn’t resist.  I also picked up some sock yarn I had never seen before, Celestari, a 75% cotton/25% wool sock yarn.

latitrain

Let it Rain also handed out a coupon for 20% off on a purchase between June 15th and August 15th. I’ll be going back.

That night I cast on the Lace Wing Scarf and have been working on it off and on all weekend.

lace_wing_scarf

On Saturday morning I met Rebecca at VYT out Master Knitting Support Group (ok, not really, but sort of).  When I got there they only had 4 skeins of the Suri Blue left!  I was so glad I stopped in on Friday, as I hadn’t really planned on it. They had a huge pile of the Suri Blue in a bunch of colors, poof, gone.

As Rebecca and worked on swatches more of the Saturday morning regulars arrived, along with the LYS Tourists.  We all chatted, knitted, drank tea.  Then after taking a lunch break . . . we knit some more.  So much for going to any other shops.

I should mention that while we were there on Saturday the shop received an order of ShiBui yarn.  I resisted the urge to purchase any of the beautiful sock yarn, or any of the yarns the shop had on clearance.  I was very good.  Until Sunday.  The ShiBui kept calling me, in chorus with the Silky Tweed.  I caved.

silky_tweed

3 colors of Silky Tweed (40% off):
Blue for the Fiddle Sticks Lotus Blossom Shawl
Orangy-brown for stash
Black with red/pink flecks for the Victorian Shoulderette

sock_yarn

Pink Opal for knee highs for Bug (35% off)
ShiBui Sock Yarn for socks for Hubby,
brown vari with burgandy heels, toes, and ribbing